John 15:1 says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” This is one of the reasons I feel I connect with the Lord when I am out working in the flower beds. The yard is the place God and I have some of our best conversations. Sometimes I talk to Him, but usually I work and listen and He talks. Because my hands are busy, I don’t feel like my mouth has to be.
After taking my 15 year old to get his driver’s permit, I knew I needed some time with the Lord, so I decided to spend a little time working in the yard. The first thing I knew I had to do was trim the shrubs. As I surveyed them, I realized they had grown like crazy because of the rain and needed a little shaping. As I began cutting back the wild, untamed growth, the Lord began to speak to me. What I was doing with the shrubs is what God does with us. He gives us what we need to grow and allows us to flourish; however, when we start getting a little out of sorts, moving in directions He doesn’t want us to go, He shapes us and molds us back into something beautiful. It doesn’t always feel good and it isn’t something He really enjoys doing, yet it’s necessary.
As a parent, I know I have to discipline my children. Just like the shrubs, sometimes they get out of line with what I want them to do. Out of love for them and wanting the best for them, I have had to discipline them and bring them back within the boundaries I’ve placed to keep them safe. Psalm 94:12 says those who the Lord disciplines are blessed and Revelation 10:18 tells us the Lord disciplines those He loves.
Are you feeling the sting of God’s rebuke in your life right now? Or does it feel more like hedge clippers cutting you in areas that have gotten out of control? Either way, recognize the Lord corrects out of love and on the other side of the correction, you will see the blessings.