A Time for Pruning

Psalm 32:7-8 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I am writing to you during a time of global crisis. I am writing to you in a time of personal difficulty. I am writing to you in a time of great uncertainty.

I could list all the myriad anxieties that are afflicting me. I could list all the things I think I need, and the many more I want. But this would be a fruitless exercise, because in the end, it isn’t the point.

In order for a good tree to grow, it has to be pruned. Cutting off our branches doesn’t feel good. If fact, it can be a painful loss. But sometimes that is exactly what we need in order to grow properly, strong and firmly rooted in Messiah.

I have lost things that are important to me lately. I have felt that what I can provide for my children is inadequate. I have questioned the Father’s direction for our lives. And yet, he is a good Father.

Sometimes I have to tell my children “no”, or “not yet”. They don’t always understand the reason behind my refusal. My toddler wants to put her hand to the flames of our stove top, but I tell her firmly “no”. She throws herself to the floor! She is angry with me for my refusal. To her, I have denied her something she wants. But actually, I am saving her from the harm she cannot see because of her age.

Sometimes we are like that small child. We think we know what is best for us, but do we really? I think my wants are good wants! I think my goals are the right goals! But my Father loves me, and he knows what is for my ultimate good.
And truthfully, I cannot say that our needs are not met. When I pray each night with my children, “give us our daily bread”, I am reminded that sometimes our needs are met day to day. He doesn’t always provide for the foreseeable future, but each day we do have our bread. HalleluYah!

I want to give my children their own home, with their own rooms. I feel bad that they are living in close quarters. I want to buy them nicer clothes, nicer things, the best educational materials. But today I was reminded that they are being given the best; our great love for them, and a knowledge of the truth. There is nothing greater, nothing more profitable, nothing more worthwhile. It is gold in a field that you sell all your possessions to find.

The world is changing. There is uncertainty all around. There is a constant influx of anxiety producing news in a 24/7 news-cycle. It is good to step away, take a breath, and remember who we serve. He is still in control.

Take heart brothers and sisters, we were warned of all these things to take place.
Luke 21:28
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

I have also taken the apostle Paul’s words to heart, and it has helped me when I feel like we don’t have enough.
Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

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