Several years ago when we were living in our first house, we had an amazing tree in our back yard. Don’t ask me what kind because I don’t know…I’m not a plant guy. I don’t have a green thumb it is more like a yellow thumb, because the only thing that I’m really good at growing is dandelions. I can grow those pretty little flowers without even trying.
The point is this tree was amazing. You could actually stand underneath it during a rain storm and not get a single drop on you. It was so full in fact that it was starting to take over the yard. The limbs were getting so low and so thick I started to feel claustrophobic in the back yard. So I called Arjay and we went to work.
We got out the chain saw and the ladder and started hacking away. Again, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was just getting rid of the limbs that annoyed me. After several near disasters with the chain saw we climbed down to admire our work…and to no ones surprise we had “butchered” the bottom half of the tree.
What was once an amazing tree now stood as a picture of shame and embarrassment in front of all other trees. Oops…it was embarrassing. I can only think that this poor tree felt like a preacher that gave an entire message with his fly down. Yes it was that bad.
But something happened…a couple months later all sorts of new limbs started to form. Where there used to be one limb now branched out in three directions. Didn’t I tell you this was an amazing tree…before too long the tree had gotten back to its original glory. But it didn’t stop there. It grew fuller and thicker, as more branches began to sprout.
It was a healthy tree before, absolutely nothing wrong with it…and after I hacked it up a little it got even stronger.
John 15:1-2 Jesus says… “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Sometimes it feels like life is good…everything is clicking along just fine. Then all of a sudden God starts hacking away…and we look at the situation and think, “God you butchered things…why didn’t you just leave things alone?”
And it’s not like he is hacking away at the dead branches either…he begins to chop away at the perfectly healthy branches in our life as well. WHY? Because he knows there is tremendous potential inside of you and he is creating room for that potential to come out.
Sometimes pruning happens…and sometimes we think God messed up a good thing. Check back in a couple of months and see how new life has already begun.
Hack away, Lord!