Today I put my hands in the ground for the first time. I pulled away dead stems, branches and leaves from plants and flowers that haven’t bloomed since Fall. Underneath the ugly brown foliage was fresh, green growth. The dead material needed to be removed so new sprouts could receive sun and air needed to thrive.
I took the garden hoe and plunged it into the soil around the plants. Weeds and unwanted grass was loosened and yanked out by their roots, causing dirt to fly in my eyes and hair.
It was glorious.
As a new bride, I learned to garden when my mother-in-law showed up with a flat of flowers and a garden spade. Kneeling on my knees next to her, she showed me how to dig a hole, pour in a little water, place a single flower into the mess, and cover it with soil. The feel of dirt was like silk to my hands. My love affair with flowers and gardening began. For me, Spring begins the moment I handle dirt that’s been dormant.
Today Spring arrived.
Maintaining flowerbeds takes time and work. But every spring, the cycle of life begins as the ground warms and tells nature “It’s time.” Left alone, growth’ll happen but plants won’t reach their full potential. Dead branches and leaves smother new growth. Pruning and removal of the old is required so new beauty can grow.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2, NIV)
What’s old in your life that’s hindering new beauty? What’s dead and stale that needs to be removed?
Like dead foliage, dead things in our life weighs heavy on our spirit, smothering what God is growing in us. “Dead to sin, alive in Christ” (Romans 6:11, NIV) mirrors our spiritual condition in the garden of our Savior. The power of Christ is constantly trying to grow things for His honor and glory but we stifle it by holding on to stagnant glory of the past or dead things we won’t release.….relationships, behavior, or attitudes that don’t bear fruit.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Hebrews 12:1
Does your garden need cleaned out?
There are things I’ve allowed God to weed-out in my life. Very personal things only He knows about. Things so damaging that if I allowed them to grow, life would’ve had a different outcome.
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15 NIV
Today I pulled out weeds, grass and other plants that were growing where they shouldn’t. If I would’ve left them alone, the undesirable growth would eventually take over. Fewer beautiful things would grow. More unwanted things would take root making it harder and harder for new growth to thrive.
After seasons of dormancy, God naturally allows good things to take root and grow our lives. But it’s up to us whether we hold onto suffocating or dead things in our life. God desires to weed out the stagnant and make us alive in Him, growing new, good things for His honor and glory.
Where are you in this process? Are you fighting the Gardener? Are you allowing unfruitful debris to be ripped from you so new growth can happen? Do you trust Him to remove things growing in your life that are taking over potential beauty?
This week, my family received a grace-gift that was a surprise, honor, and great blessing. I know in my heart if I wouldn’t have allowed God to remove dead debris a few years ago, the present outcome would be different. I’m honest with you. As I tediously removed deeply rooted weeds and thorns today, I was reminded of deeply rooted things God has removed from my life.
I’m still learning to let Him pull, yank and remove. Seeing the beauty He grows from pruning is worth the pain and process. Will you join me today in allowing Him to clean out the most intimate parts of your life?
How have you allowed Him to prune you already? What new growth have you seen in your life? We’d love to hear your story.
Because He desires beautiful things in you.