Donna Schaffer,Pruned Red Grapevines
I was reading the blog of my friend Nicole and she was talking about spring cleaning and how we can view it as God's way of clearing out the clutter in our lives. This got me thinking about the pruning process that Bruce Wilkinson talks about in his book: "Secrets of the Vine"
I've always wanted to visit a grape vineyard; not to taste the wine but for the experience of walking through rows of succulent grapes, picking a few and tasting its sweetness as the juices spill over my tongue. I want to experience the triumph of a good harvest and the laughter of 'dancing' the grapes which reminds me so much of the cocoa dance here. Of course I want to paint the experience; the vitality and colour of it all.
So much must go into making sure that a harvest is perfect. One important part of that process is the pruning. The cutting away of the unwanted branches so that the vine, when it grows, grows correctly and yields an uptimum harvest.
I imagine that that's what God thinks of when He allows us to go through our fiery trials. It's a way for us to let loose of all the dead limbs; the habits that are keeping us from reaching our true potential; the unwanted character flaws. The more painful the pruning the more ingrained the habit, the more unhealthy the flaw.
Pruning, I guess, is just another part of faith. We have to be still in order for God to do His work in us. We have to be willing to sing a song of praise through the pain. I know that I have a few that need to go and if this pruning experience is going to make me into a more loving and nurturing mother, a better wife a more inspired artist and writer, and more than just an ordinary servant then I say bring it on.
James 1: 2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect
and entire, wanting nothing.
Why not take a few minutes to read:
We spend so much time complaining about the hardships in our lives that we fail to see the potential in them to be blessings in disguise.
What would happen if, just for a moment, we stopped and thanked God for them instead and said to Him
"Lord, do your work in me. Make me perfect and whole"