Saturday, May 13, 2017
This process of cutting the stems off the ends of cut flowers has never logically made sense to me. Neither has it ever made sense to me to cut vines and other plants way back. Pruning of vines is an even more drastic cutting back process than just cutting off the ends of the stems of cut flowers. In fact, when completed the vine branch can appear to be dead. This pruning is a necessary and a good thing to do, however. In fact, because the branch is attached to the vine; it can grow to be productive, new, and beautiful once again.
This is true also about the cutting or hurtful aspects and experiences of life. Care-giving can often become very challenging and overwhelming. It can be discouraging and hurt us emotionally at times, as we see our loved ones deteriorate in their health. Just as we may wonder why it is necessary for a plant to be cut way back, it often is puzzling to understand why we have to undergo the painfully cutting experiences of life.
Yet during my very difficult care-giving years and during my grief since my husband’s death over 6 years ago I know the Lord has been shaping my character and drawing me closer to him. He is also cutting away attitudes and fears that are not appropriate and making me more dependent on Him. Like cut flowers and like a branch on a vine which has been cut back, I can grow into something beautiful and productive because of this pruning in my life. Just as cut flowers need plant food, I also have to feed on God's Word, however, for this to take place in my life.
The branch on a vine also cannot grow into something beautiful again, however, unless it is attached to the vine. So also I cannot grow into something beautiful unless I am attached to the Vine, the Lord Jesus. This is spoken of in John 15 in the Bible.
Dear Christian caregiver, the pruning that takes place in the difficult moments of care-giving and in life in general hurts. It is okay to acknowledge that it hurts. You are not alone, however, if you are attached to the Living Vine, Jesus Christ. You will be okay. Not only will you be okay, but you will flourish. Remind yourself of this when the dark moments sometimes come.