It has been a long time since I last posted anything on this blog. I have sat down a couple of times thinking that I need to put something down on the screen. December was a very busy month which lead to a busy January. But really those are just excuses. To be honest I have felt a dryness in my bones and I didn't have anything to say. I'm pretty confident that it is because I wasn't consistent in reading from the Word and receiving from God. To be even more honest I felt myself slipping into a kind of sadness that seemed like the fog that has been hovering over our area for the past week. I didn't seem to notice it so much when I was busy. But it's hard to see in a fog and in the quietness of some days I would just wander trying to fill up the void. As I would fumble around in my fog trying to figure out what was wrong with me that still small voice would woo me with tender words of comfort saying, "Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30). So it is in desperation that I open my Bible once again to hear from God. It's not that He went anywhere but, possibly and more likely, because I got too busy doing other things. At 55, and being a Christian for 40 years this is a no-brainer for me but what does that hymn say, "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." So, with the hymnist I will finish with, "Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above."
Last Saturday Dan and I started pruning the trees in our orchard. The trees had actually grown quite a bit as we hadn't been able to get to the pruning last year because of my illness. Most of our trees are young ones that we planted two or three years ago so there isn't a whole lot to trim. But I did cut off some major limbs so that the tree would grow the way I want them to. I would tell Dan to "cut here" and he would look at me and say, "you sure now?". From what I have read about pruning you want the trees to kind of resemble an umbrella. The main trunk you want to be strong and then other limbs to come from that and spread out. It takes years to form a tree with much cutting and pruning. As Dan and I were talking, down in the orchard, I was telling him what I hope to see. Someday, when the spring blossoms come out, it will look like this beautiful canopy of flowers that I can walk under. Then in the summer months it will give shade to sit under. One day, in the fall, my orchard will yield up wonderful fruit for us and others to enjoy. There is future happiness here as I envision granddaughters sitting in the grass under the trees. Or even the grandsons riding the motorcycles through them.
God is always in the business of pruning and shaping His children. I find, at times, that the cutting off of one limb and the trimming back of another is painful. I might even complain of the hurt but also realize that my heavenly Father is the kindest of pruners. Ultimately, I do want His will to be done in me even when I say, "ouch!". He is shaping something wonderful and even beautiful that is hard for me to comprehend because of the moment of possible pain. I would love to be like the cedars of Lebanon talked about in the Bible. Tall and strong and used for God's purposes.
What else is there left to do then, but submit to the process of shaping? Yes and Amen ~ I want to hand Him the pruners too.