Words of Hope and Faith for the Weary

A Beautiful Garden

Another summer in Canada and my garden is just a lovely as it always is. My husband, who I am convinced, has a green thumb, and myself love to create beautiful gardens every summer during the short Canadian growing season. For the small while, that we are able to grow plants and vegetables, we always work hard to create a pretty garden. Our sunflowers grow tall; looking as if they are reaching for the heavens. Vine beans with large green leaves run across strings that spread across the entire garden, their pods hanging from them as eye-catching icicles dangling from frozen trees. Dahlias so tall that almost reach the top of the sunflowers are lively and gorgeous; fluffy pink, yellow, red, and white flowers sprout from them, reminding me of colorful puffy cotton balls. These are just a few of the plants we grow. Compliments on our garden from those within our community are frequent. People stop often just to admire the garden’s beauty, telling us how stunning it is, sometimes asking how we grow out plants so pretty.
My husband says to me, “we have to cut back some of the branches, this helps the plant grow much better.” I look at it as a waste. Always, I try to dispute with him, because I have no knowledge of plants really. “It is so pretty, why cut it away,” I say to him; however, since I know he has a passion for gardening, I listen to him.
This reminds me of the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 15: 1-8 (KJV). 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
I relate our gardening to the verses above. Sometimes in my life, I feel the taking away of something. Most of the time, it is something that I feel makes me who I am. At first, when I am losing it, as many do, I struggle against the loss of it, doing whatever I can to keep it part of my life. Whether it is an attitude, position, behavior, money, or even a person, I want it there. When it is gone, surely I will feel like the pruned plant; ugly, empty, and bare. Life will never be the same again, I tell myself. During the process, I do not understand it.
I will not say that any loss is easy, it is change, and most all of us hate change. However, I will say that after time passes, I understand why the change was necessary. I fought so hard to hold onto something that was not good or useless to me. Jesus, my lord, allows these changes in my life to make me better, returning to me more than I had before; more money, a better love, or a better position, giving me more than I could imagine at the time of my purging. Just as the branches, leaves, and flowers grow back much lovelier, so does my life. Strengthening my spirit and nurturing hope, faith, and trust in the grace of God within me. I have never found a time, when God took something from me; it did not work out for my good. He knows what he is doing. Although I still might not understand it at the time, now I can walk through difficulties much easier. I pray to him and my spirt witnesses to me that it is his will for my life, granting me peace, allotting me sleep at night; no longer I lay awake, worried, and unsure about tomorrow.
Proverbs 3:5-6, 1Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. When we realize God is there, as his word says, we seek his help; and if we can believe, just your trial will work out for the better. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but God.

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