John 15:2   Thought/Prayer:  Snip-snip and Chop.  Topics:  2 at end.

“ Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, andevery branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  ESV (Read this scripture and more at http://prayerpivot.com)

Snip-snip, grab, move branch over, snip-snip.  Pruning time once again in the rose bush.  I say “in” the bush because at times it seems I’m in the middle of the thing as I work away.  (Slave away would be a better term – not a plant person here.)

Interestingly, I approach various aspects of this plant alteration differentially.  Hundreds of wilted roses call for attention, and to each one I apply my snips individually; I’m hoping that where each rose has bloomed, another will grow in its place.

But for all the woody dead parts, I hack away with abandon.  This bush doesn’t need all that ugly stuff; it adds nothing and detracts from the green of the remainder of the bush. 

OK. So I can’t help but think of how God prunes his rose bushes called His children:  You and I.  Sometimes he has to chop out big chunks of worthlessness in our lives.  It would be nice if we wouldn’t even recognize that it’s gone because those parts of our lives have been dead for a long time.  But we need to be aware of the separation of these lazy and unproductive thoughts and attitudes from the rest of our being.  Yes, we will be aware of this getting-rid-of.

But then our loving God sometimes just works with us so tenderly to draw us to him, just as each rose on my bush was taken off lovingly to make room for new growth.  Maybe God seems closer to us when he is making room for our spiritual growth in this way. 

And then there are living branches that need to be grabbed and attacked because they’ve grown too far in one direction or another.  God does this for us, too, perhaps by making new directions become apparent in our lives.

Lord, we know that every baby is a tender flower.  And we know that they do not need to be pruned until they’ve grown a whole lot.  But it’s so great that at first they are just what they are:  sweet blooms, blossoms that do not wilt. 

Help us, Lord, to champion their cause because they are just themselves, as You have fashioned them.  Work your trim-backs in our lives so that we can better serve you and the precious rosebuds of babies we hope and pray are allowed to be born, beautiful:  each and every petal and fragrance. 

Topics:  Pray for our own pruning so that we can better minister to families in crisis pregnancies.
Rachel’s Vineyard abortion grief ministry

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