If you live in the South, you are enjoying the beauty of the Crepe Myrtle tree as its long branches are beginning to sprout. This time of year, it seems to grow by the day and by June, the weight of it’s flowering blooms will drape elegantly while reveling in the full sun and heat of summer in the south.
But each February I marvel as gardeners take to these beautiful trees with saws and clippers, cutting back the statuesque tree down to a hat rack. The first time I noticed this process, I thought, “They’ve killed these trees. They’ve been cut back too much and they’ll never come back.”
But, I was wrong. In April, little sprouts began to appear. In May, they were coming forth and by June, their blooms were in glorious splendor, whether white, purple or hot pink.
In fact, the trees that were not trimmed are never as brilliant the following summer, looking spindly and with smaller blossoms.
Are you facing a time of pruning in your life? Does it feel like God is too severe in His dealings with you? I’ve certainly been there. There have been seasons in my life when the trials I was facing caused me to say to God, “Look, I promise. This is NOT making me more patient. Or kind. Or long-suffering. I am becoming a WORSE person, not better! Don’t you see how terribly I’m holding up under this trouble? Please. Stop. Now.”
But somehow, by His grace, He brought me through those unwelcome situations and later, I WAS stronger, more resilient, and eventually, even more joyful.
Can you see the goodness of God in the ways He makes His presence known to you in what seems to be a severe pruning in your life? Here are a few examples:
- A scripture that you’ve read many times suddenly springs to life with new meaning.
- The kindness of a friend.
- Interesting circumstances you know were meant just for you that bring comfort.
- Gratitude for simple moments of joy that perhaps you didn’t recognize before.
- The new compassion you feel for others who are experiencing a hard time.
- Finding yourself reaching out to others during their difficulty.
- The platform you now have to bring comfort to others who are enduring a similar hardship.
Be on the lookout for God in every detail of your life, especially the difficult times. He’s there – working for your good.
And like the Crepe Myrtle, it won’t be long before you’re blooming forth with new growth, a reflection of the Master Gardener’s loving skill and wisdom so that you can be a benefit to others and a reflection of His glory.
Copyright 2016. Connie Carey delivers fun, content-rich messages that lift your spirit and bring the house down! She is the author of “Falling UP”, a resource for grief and loss. You can reach her at www.conniecarey.com.