Little did I know what was going to take place in the wee hours of the evening.
In the middle of the night, the thought that woke me up was–I need to confess and surrender.
This was from the Lord because you see love, laughter, prayer, truth, and grace does fill our home. Not perfectly but it does.
The Weeds In Our Garden Not Only Harm Us But Also Those Around Us
Here’s the thing, my disbelief and desire to “control what I can’t”, every so often, shoots up like a weed and wraps itself around the goodness that God is growing in our hearts and in our home. Actually, if I’m honest, it happens more often than I wish.
It horrified me just to think about all these beautiful blossoms we’ve been tending to in the garden of our children’s hearts are affected by the weeds in my own garden.
As mothers, we set the tone in our home. It can be one of peace and calm where life-giving words are exchanged. Or where worry, control, criticism, complaints, and discouraging words fly around like missiles.
Now mind you, I have to say this, so you’re not confused. We are not powerful enough to destroy the plans God has for our children. But the reality is how we live our life will impact our children.
So in the middle of the night, the Lord had me do some heart work.
I confessed. I surrendered. It wasn’t a shame session nor a time of condemnation where I rehash all my faults. In His love, he was “pruning”. It was the Holy Spirit gently reminding me of God’s love for me and my family.
Pruning is Not Punishment
Though pruning may feel like a punishment, it is not. God is not angry at us. He’s not annoyed by us. But it’s because He loves us that He prunes us. Jesus reminds us in John 15 that He will cut off branches that bear no fruit and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be more fruitful.
God knows that those weeds have the potential to kill the beautiful blossoms in our garden.
I discovered one year that I decided to start gardening was that not all weeds are ugly little vines but sometimes they look like pretty flowers. Here I was letting these lovely “flowers” grow in my garden but it actually was a weed.
Our Heavenly Father does the work of “pruning” out of love and because He delights in us. Not to criticize us or shame us but because He desires for us to grow by helping us remove whatever becomes an obstacle in our spiritual growth.
Here’s another wonderful tidbit I didn’t realize until I started gardening was that pruning actually makes your blossoms flourish and gives them more life.
In the pruning, we must remember that He is good and He works in our life.
He is our Strength
I can’t end this post here because the parable of the vine highly focuses on this beautiful thing called “abiding”. The word “abide” is my word for this season. The Lord has been opening up my eyes to see how hard this is for me.
In this passage, we are reminded to draw our strength from Him; to completely abide in Him. Abiding isn’t just going to him and filling up but it’s to remain in Him. He says apart from Him we can not bear fruit. Nothing of lasting value can come from us apart from Him.
Abiding means I need Him “every hour I need Him.”
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever. Psalms 73:26
Friends I’ve tried this whole “inner strength” thing and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t last because we are finite beings. This simple fact that we are finite beings tells us this “inner strength” the world keeps telling us to draw from has limits–it will eventually run out. It will not lasts.
As we close I leave you with these two reminders, God prunes in love so you can bear more fruit. It’s a journey we are all on because none of us have arrived. Secondly, as believers, we have no choice but to abide in Him. When we stop building broken cisterns that do not hold water we will see that abiding in Him is the only option that leads to His grace and truth.
Is the Lord calling you to tend to your garden? To pull some weeds?
Whatever it may be don’t ignore it. Follow the loving leading of the Holy Spirit and know that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. His grace is sufficient for all of our mess.