Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When the kids are driving you crazy and there is way too much to do....

I've been (slowly) making my way through the book of John and I read something today that I wanted to share

John 15:1-2,4

"I am the vine and my Father is the gardener. 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... Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me"
The purpose of pruning (from a strict gardening standpoint):

Pruning is both a skill and an art. The skill is in making cuts that callus (form a thickened tissue that seals off wounds) properly and minimize the chance for decay. The art is in making cuts in the right places so that the plant takes on a handsome form and is prolific if grown for flowers or fruit.
The cutting off leaves or branches within limits in order to remove dead or diseased foliage or branches. Also used to control or direct growth, increase quality or yield of flowers or fruit, and to ensure growth position of main branches to enhance structural strength.
James 1:2-7
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Those who doubts should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; they are double-minded and unstable in all they do
Often we (myself included) we tend to think of the trials James is referring to as big things, like major life circumstances. But as mothers, our "various trials" truly are VARIOUS! They could be an overly emotional 8 year old, a confused / rebellious teenager, a cranky and tired toddler, etc (you get the idea lol). God wants to use each and every difficult / challenging situation in our lives to mold us, shape us, PRUNE us, to MATURE us and make us stronger in him! When we look at every challenging situation as a chance for God to shape us, we really can look at them with JOY! No, they are not fun, but we don't have to despair when we are walking through them. We can ask for God's wisdom, believing he will give it to us (as he says in James 1!) and know that God is giving us challenging circumstances to help us, NOT to punish us.

My bible had a note on this passage of John 15 and here is what it said:

"God wants you to bear fruit. Just as a gardener trims a healthy plant to maximize growth, your divine gardener is willing to cut away even good things to focus energy on the best things. His use of the pruning shears doesn't mean he is displeased with your growth; it may mean he is generating greater growth within you."

I'd like to amend that thought and say "it DOES mean he IS generating greater growth within you"

This thought encouraged me today and I pray that you would ponder on God's word today and that it would encourage you too.

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