Proverbs 24:27 Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
Roses: I was talking with a gardener who has some exquisite roses that originate from a warm climate zone. The roses need some extra protection during the winter months. The gardener covers these particular rose bushes with burlap for the winter months to protect them from wind, frost and some moderate below zero weather. Recently, when the warmth of spring came, he took off the burlap and gave the rose branches a slight trim and within a few months the blooms and scent are incredible.
I had one of those ah-ha moments and realised that the beautiful display was a result of the quiet time covered in the dark until spring. Isn't this process like when we spend time in our prayer closet during the harsh winters of our discontent. We are making time with our heavenly Father, praying for a breakthrough to overcome the attack of the enemy or praying for the answers to the many requests we have. Matt. 6:6 But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which sees in secret shall reward thee openly.
Isn't it after a time that feels like we are covered in burlap and the light of the day does not seem to break into our lives that we then find a scent of spring? Then suddenly God, bursts like spring. We experience miracle after miracle, then we bloom and display the joy of the Lord as we give praise for the beauty of God who is reigning in our hearts and lives. Sng. 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.
Grapes: I have a few established grape vines. When the shoots and leaves of the vines start to grow in earnest, and the branches are unruly, there is a process called canopy management. The reason the branches are pruned, tied and aimed into the higher part of the foliage is to allow the sun to shine on the growing grapes. The grapes need more sun time in order to grow, create sugars and ripen to its full capacity.
Wow! Just like a Christian who needs the Son of God to shine forth on our hearts so that we also can grow and ripen toward our full capacity. We need to trim the extras that takes our time and thoughts away from true growth in the Lord. John 15:2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. That is the point of God's pruning, that we may bring forth fruit.
The only way we will be able to do that is to allow the Son to focus on the areas of our lives that need canopy management. Without Christ working our growth patterns, we can do nothing. John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The consequence of not allowing the Lord to trim our lives is that we will end up producing sour grapes. Eze. 18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? We need to produce the sweetness of Jesus in our lives and that comes by the Son shining on our lives.
Strawberries: I was cultivating a cluster of flowers about twelve feet from a strawberry patch. I noticed a strawberry plant within the flower stand. The berry runner had made its way all that distance to establish itself right in the middle of the flowers. I had to cut the runner and transplant the strawberry plant back to the patch where it could be pollinated.
This reminded me of a marriage counseling session I had with a man who had left his wife for another woman and there were problems starting to show up, just like the last relationship. Just like that strawberry runner, the thing that caused problems had popped up.
If we do not deal with the problems that show up in a relationship and keep them contained within the guidelines of the word of God, then like the runner the same problem will show up again ready to produce fruit. James 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. We will produce who and what we are in life. Matt. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Like strawberry runners out of control, we will affect those within our sphere of influence, either to good or bad. With the help of the Holy Spirit, take care of the problems when they are manageable. Don't let them go to seed and ruin more than your own life.
How well does your garden grow? Blessings.