Years ago, when we purchased our farm, there were purple iris growing at the outer edge of the front yard. They only grew to a height of about 12 inches that summer and produced relatively few blooms. A couple of seasons later, after we replaced the front porch on our old farmhouse, I divided and transplanted the iris to beds along the porch. The next season, they grew to new heights—three feet tall with lush purple flowers.
Although fall is by far my favorite season, I enjoy watching the earth come alive in the spring as the season of growth begins that results in summer flowers and fruit. At the end of last summer, I carried two puny red geranium plants inside. Not willing to give up and toss them I managed to keep them alive through the winter. Now, after being placed together in a new, large container with good soil and plenty of sunlight, they are thriving. Every couple of days as I water them, I dead head (remove the dead blossoms) to encourage continued blooming.
This fall, I will prune away dead and non-producing branches from my blackberry bush. This will encourage new growth and produce more berries next year.
There are times in life when our choices and circumstances keep us from being all we are meant to be. Times when we become complacent…times when we become dissatisfied with our present situations…times when we become arrogant…times when we fall out of faith…times when we lose sight of our true purpose.
In those times, our Master Gardener prunes us of the attitudes that are holding us back. He may uproot us and plant us in new soil, where we have the opportunity to grow and mature and fully bloom. Through the Holy Spirit, He may direct us to allow the dead wood of toxic relationships to be cut away so that we can thrive in Him. Just let go and let God!!
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
JOHN 15; “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.