It’s time for pruning.
I’m feeling it in my own heart as well. Like a gangly and barren tree, I am in need of some reshaping in preparation for spring. I, too, am carrying around dead branches that must be cut off if new life is to have room to arrive.
I happen to love winter. I prefer being cold to being hot, and I don’t mind cloudy, grey days. I find a certain peace and comfort in the stillness while nature sleeps. I’m never in a hurry for spring to come… call me crazy.
God is up to something wonderfully painful this time, though.
For weeks now it has seemed as dormant within me as the wintery world around me. There’s an absence of warmth that goes beyond just the temperature outside. It reaches to the very bottom of my heart, where there are deeply-rooted faults and covered-up transgressions I stubbornly cling to. Something in my spirit is telling me…God is up to something…He is scheduling me for an amputation.
I have prayed for a new heart, and He is answering, if I am ready to receive. It begins with the sting of exposure. My first instinct is to turn away and cover myself further, but oh, that God will grant me the courage to remain still and see with honest eyes the bitter truth!
Some of the wounds I carry have become like old “friends.” I know them well, and they justify my lazy, sinful habits. They keep me helpless and hopeless, yet I welcome them in time after time, and give in to their excuses.
Still deeper I hide grievances unforgiven, bitterness, and judgments that feed my self-righteous pride. If I continue to draw my life from these cold, decaying roots, He knows I will die.
I need to endure this exposure.
I need the hidden, buried, secretly nurtured sins in my life to be discovered and named out loud. Only then can Jesus come to change me.
Oh yes, indeed… it’s time for pruning.
Knowing my frailty, He comes to me not with a saw or an ax to chop me into pieces and leave me ruined, but with a scalpel…perfectly, delicately fashioned just for me.
His loving hand is steady and gentle; every cut precise and necessary. My Sovereign Surgeon leaves no unsightly scar…instead He leaves more of Himself where my offense once grew. His tender love for me remains within me.
I don’t relish the pain of this surgery. It is so tempting to resist and stay in this familiar, though frozen, ground. But I am so hungry for new life, and I am so desperate for transformation!
Lord Jesus, help me not shrink from Your cut!
Though it hurts so much, these dead and lifeless branches must GO.
Pruning is what Lent was made for. It is the season set apart for the purpose of cutting off all that is dead, cold, lifeless, decaying, unyielding, twisted.
Though it brings me to tears, I must take courage and remember there is no need to fear or dread His shearing, for He is saving my life and my soul!
Hold me still when I am afraid, Lord, and do not stop until this dead weight is gone. Change me. Renew me. Do what You came to do. Make me whole.