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April 27, 2017, 9:00 AM

A Nugget From My Spiritual Journey...May 2017

  Have you ever noticed that sometimes the Lord brings “life lessons” to your mind in the most unlikely places or at the most unlikely times? Due to knee issues, it has been a long time since I have done anything that even looks like gardening other than stick a few plants in a few above-ground pots. Recently, however, I found the need to attempt to “dead-head” and prune a few azalea bushes and other plants. After deciding I could sit in a folding chair and do that, moving it from plant to plant, I began to tackle that job on a beautiful day. As I began to throw the “dead-heads” by the hundreds into a mop bucket and then to snip off dead limbs to add to those throw-aways, I began to think about how that reminds me of the Lord's work in our lives.

  Knowing that pruning actually helps plants to grow more fully and to be more beautiful, it gives a gardener courage to snip-snip away, knowing that generally you are saving the plant, not destroying it. God knows the same thing about us...when He “prunes” us by pulling or cutting off the things that get in the way of us being useful to Him, He can already see what a beautiful future He has in store for us.

  I also was careful to not disturb branches that had buds or tiny leaves, showing early evidence of new life for the year! That brought to mind many verses I have seen in a study of Isaiah lately regarding the fact that God always has a remnant (people) in place whenever He judges nations. I also thought of Noah's family, a very small remnant, but a remnant nonetheless, when God judged the entire earth with a flood. When He prunes our individual lives or our nations, we must always remember to look for the remnant of righteousness...He does! He always sees a faithful remnant to preserve.

  As I bent, stretched and stood up/sat down to move my chair, I realized I was beginning to ache, using muscles not normally used. Pains here and there began to make themselves known. This prompted me to remember what all parents say when they are disciplining their children: “This hurts me worse than it does you!” Children never believe it, but all loving parents know it is true. Reading about the judgments of God toward His people, it is apparently true of Him, too, as our Heavenly Father. His times of judgment are always partnered with eventual grace, mercy, compassion. He hurts for His children and doesn't want to judge us, but for us to bloom beautifully in life, He must!  

Marsha Cook, Director


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