And finally, I write to you, happy new year! I wish one of my new year’s resolutions were to blog more frequently, but with a full plate, it is not only good but right to let some things slide. It seems that as the Lord continues to grow the garden in my heart, He also has to prune and pull the weeds. It’s not the weeds that are difficult to let go, but sometimes pruning can be a pain.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
— John 15:1-5
The Lord has given me, and every one of us, a promise that if we allow Him to, he will allow our lives to flourish. Sometimes we hold on to people, things, or sins that are dead or overgrown. He is not taking these things away because He wants to see us unhappy, but because He love us! He is the greatest gardener and knows the fruit that this will bring us, the new life we will find.
In Texas, it’s been back in forth in the weather with sunny afternoons reaching into the seventies and rainy, dreary days dipping back into the forties. But this is a sign of spring coming. And we must allow the Lord to prepare us for new life. Many plants are supposed to be pruned in the late winter, as they lay dormant. We too should come to the Lord and ask him to begin to prepare our gardens.
As a young girl, one of my favorite movies to watch was The Secret Garden. Every time I was over at my grandmother’s house, I would want to watch the movie and see not only the discovered garden grow but the characters as well. A scene has always stuck with me shows the discovery of the secret garden. Dickon, a young stable boy, takes one of the branches that seems to surely be dead and cuts it with his knife, inside he shows that there is still life as the tree contains a green color to it. Mary, excited with the prospect that there is hope underneath the chaos and decay of the garden left to ruin, exclaims, “I’m glad it’s wick! I want them all to be wick. Let us go round the garden and count how many wick ones there are.”
I’m not saying that it is not painful. Sometimes it really hurts to let go of things we’ve held on so tightly to, but the Lord is promising new life. “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” There is much fruit to be had, but we have to take the decay and chaos that is flooding our hearts. Like the secret garden, we have left parts of our heart to be left to ruin behind locked doors. But by opening these doors and allowing the Lord in, we can find new life lying underneath. We can run around finding the hope that comes with new life, proclaiming as Dickon did inside the garden that, “There will be a fountain of roses here this summer.”