Monday, July 25, 2011

Seasons of Growth
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3-4, 11
I went for a stroll one afternoon, to get the blood flowing, and hoping to feel better. I’d been feeling pretty low, even depressed. So I opted for a walk along the a rose garden along the lake. I soon learned God had far more in store for me than I’d expected.

Along the way, I passed dozens of rose bushes. Their flowers were all different—in size, color, and stage of growth. And each contributed to the beauty of the garden. Several were at their peak.

Some of the bushes were clearly past their prime; the petals had fallen and only thorns remained. They needed to be pruned. With time and TLC—nourishment—by a seasoned gardener, they would flourish again.

Pruning a rosebush requires the gardener to cut its branches, at times rather severely. And when it has first been cut back, it’s anything but attractive; only short branches and thorns remain. But pruning is vital to the health of the plant, encouraging new growth, and shaping it as the gardener desires.

After they’ve been pruned, roses become dormant for a season. It is their time to rest, be fed, and receive what they need without giving anything back.. This promotes new growth, which. takes place all winter beneath the surface. Only when spring arrives can the results be seen.

The same is true for us. We go through various seasons in our lives. While some are productive and enjoyable; others are a real struggle. In the midst of a crisis, we often focus on ourselves and our immediate situation, having little energy for anything else. We may need others to help us through the process. I needed help. As painful as it was, God used people to mold and shape me to better reflect His image.

Remember, pruning hurts; but God is trustworthy. If you are hurting, in need of help come to the foot of the cross and be pruned by the Master Gardener.


Vonda Skelton said...

Great analogy, Ellen! Keep up the good work!

Carol Anne Wright Swett said...

Ellen, my favorite pic in the world is one my son took in China. It had been raining. He spied the petals of a rose that had been shattered by the rain scattered across a sidewalk. I keep that pic close by because it reminds me that even the process of being pruned can be beautiful to bystanders. Not so for us undergoing the whacking, I know. The singular beauty of that picture keeps me focused at times. Your lovely post will now be entwined in my mind with that pic! Thanks!

Carolyn K Knefely said...

Thanks for the encouraging post, Ellen.
You are a gifted writer.
Write on.

Cathy Baker said...

So true... I'm thankful God's pruning is precise and omniscient. Although the process is rarely enjoyable at the time, it is oh so necessary for healthy and meaningful growth. Thank you for sharing this beautiful analogy.

Ellen Andersen said...

Thank you for your encouragement, everyone. I've found that, as Cathy said, pruning is not something we enjoy, or look forward to. Only a after we've changed can we see the positive results.

Celeste Vaughan said...

So true Ellen...I've been pruned to death, and I'm so glad to be enjoying the growing season again! But I'm sure there will be more pruning to come! I hope to welcome it next time and see it as an opportunity for more growth. I'm enjoying your blog!

Ellen Andersen said...

We really appreciate the time to rest after a time of testing and growth, don't we? God knows just how much we can handle.