Spring. It’s the time when I brave my rose hedge (thorns) to prune it to half it’s size. It is always difficult to start because they look healthy, but they’re not. They need to be cut back to grow healthier shoots. I’m always amazed at how well they do after the cuts.
We bought another plant a couple of years ago–a crepe myrtle. It also requires pruning. But I am not as familiar with this bush as I am my roses. So my cuts were a bit more trepid. I’ve seen others do it, but this didn’t help me make confident cuts.
I waited weeks for those first signs of new growth. Nothing. Did I kill it? Were my cuts harmful rather than helpful? I was sad to think I had killed it. Still I waited. Tom checked almost daily.
Finally, we were rewarded with that for which we’d hoped…new growth. Our little bush had survived it’s first hard pruning and I am relieved and thrilled!
Like my crepe myrtle we are all facing a hard pruning of sorts. And this is a first for many of us. We are wondering if we’ll make it. Will new growth appear? Will our favorite restaurants survive? Will the economy recover? Will my job still be there when the dust has settled?
My parents endured the Great Depression and WWII. They came to be known as The Greatest Generation, and I would agree. Everyone I know whose parents were of similar age as mine, said their parents didn’t talk about it. It was something they lived through and endured, but once it was over, it was over. Their willingness to submit to the pruning, and the new growth that came as a result of their sacrifice was worth it. We have lived on that new growth our entire lives. Now it is our turn to be pruned.
What will be said of us? Did we rise to the occasion and do the right thing? The brave thing? I pray it will be so. God in His wisdom is doing what only He can do. And because He is God, we can trust Him in the process.
I have found a refuge each evening at sunset. I go to our backyard and look to the sky. I watch as the stars come out one-by-one–the very ones that God created and knows by name. I give my burdens of the day to God and ask Him for help and wisdom. I pray for all my family who seem farther away than ever. I acknowledge my lack and His sufficiency. I worship Him for who He is and for the promises He’s given us. And I give Him thanks!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
And you know what I’ve discovered? God’s peace has wrapped itself around me. I feel this hedge of protection allowing me to rest when all the world is in turmoil. It is a peace that is without understanding. But God.
We have been pruned. Now we must patiently wait and watch for the new growth. It will surely come.