The Power of Pruning

IMG_5843This is our Christmas tree.  We cut one every year if we can.  Over the years, we’ve tucked away a lot of precious memories.  We’ve cut trees in all sorts of places: from near Mechanicsburg, PA (anyone in that area – if you’ve never been there, it’s a WONDERFUL place with wonderful people!) to the side of a mountain near Williamsport, to our present location just ten minutes up the road, where you cut your tree and then drive to the house about a half mile away to pay!  (That’s called the honor system!)

As our friend told us about this tree place last year, we were very impressed with the trees – well shaped, any size, and only $20; but this year she commented that they hadn’t pruned the trees yet as a warning to what we might find.

The Lord gave us a wonderful day – another memory maker – with all our children except our son-in-law who is in boot camp; however, I did notice that the trees were a bit more ‘natural’ looking, which suits me fine. Ah, but there is a lesson there for us!

This is only one year’s growth – in whatever direction nature willed.  What will they look like next year, or the next if no one prunes them?

The ‘natural look’ is fine for trees, but as Christians, the ‘natural look’ is a warning sign that we haven’t been trimmed by the Master!  He does that with the pruning shears of His Word.  We read ” Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16) or “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” (1 Peter 1:15), and the Lord lays something specific on our hearts that He wants to prune away.  What is our response?  Do we make excuses as to why it’s alright for us to keep that branch, or do we allow Him snip it off?

IMG_5849Pruning is painful.  It takes humility.  It takes sacrifice, but it makes such a difference in our lives.  We may look at what the Lord wants to prune and say, “But that’s too much!”  We’ve all had that experience at the hair dresser’s!  But praise God, He knows exactly how much to prune, when to prune and He sees the finished result: a life shining for the Lord, in the beauty of holiness instead a that natural look! (Gotta love a face like that!!)

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