“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Coming with the colorful Springtime flowers are the thorns of roses, the wind-swept stems, and the opportunity to flourish on one’s kitchen table bringing joy to those around by its sheer beauty and fragrance rather than left to wilt having never been picked. Flowers don’t last long. And truthfully, our lives are “…but a breath; (our) days are like a passing shadow.” Psalm 144:4 Our lives, too, are like that of a flower- passing by quickly. And as the shadow covers us, what is happening under its veil?
The LORD likens pruning to the workmanship He has over our lives. He has picked us- rather, chosen. There are things we know hinder us in life, and He so desperately wants to eliminate anything that might keep us from living a full life in Him. Those bad habits, strongholds, lies we allow the enemy to fill our heads with, idols…whatever the self is full of. His desire is to see the self become less and His Spirit to become more.
As roses get prepared by florists, carefully and methodically the thorns are cut away to leave a smooth enough surface that anyone handling them would be kept from the physical ouch of pain. Similarly, as we are prepared to live out God’s will for us, He carefully and methodically plucks and prunes, even throwing us into the refining fire at times- whatever gets us pure and kept for Him. This is definitely a painful process. The roses cannot feel the scrape of removal- but oh how it hurts when we have to face letting go of what holds us back.
Sometimes we fight it. Yet, time and time again it is proved that our wrestling with the LORD never produces the righteousness He desires and we long for. It is only by a complete surrendering to His will and letting Him have His way with us that the chaff can be removed to reveal a greater glimpse of Christ in us…the destination desired.
Really there are only two viewpoints we can take- the choice being ours completely. We can look at the plucking and pruning of our lives as a very negative and painful process we’d rather avoid- OR -it can be seen as a very beautiful process that God uses in our lives to change, mold, and make us into something more and more like Christ every single day, growing in our ability to view His likeness in the mirror of our hearts, minds, and lives.
The veil of shadow covers us such a short time, that it only makes sense to allow God to pluck and prune us and draw out the dross in us so that we can be full of the very essence of Christ and poured out into the lives of others around us as we surrender to His way, His will, and His Word over us. Jesus is so worth following hard after! What hurts us for a little while brings the everlasting fragrance of Christ as His beauty lives through us.
How will you choose to view the unwanted process of plucking and pruning in your life now? Don’t waste another day hanging on to the little you deem so big, when He wants to offer us the big we deem so little.