Page 90 was a day of contrasts. The day began cool and dry then ended warm and wet. The usual workday tasks were completed during the day and we managed a family hike which began under a cloud-filled sky that turned into a light rain about halfway through the walk. Even under a gloomy sky, the sunshine yellow of the daffodils proclaimed that spring had indeed arrived!
In addition to the regular cleaning and maintenance tasks, I walked part of the woods on the church property to see how things looked after last week’s timber harvest. There is definitely some clean-up work to do and firewood to be cut but overall I think the thinning out of the mature trees will improve the woods in the long run. I also helped run a fire drill for the school so they could practice being ready in case of a real emergency.
Today’s activities were a reminder of the importance of pruning and preparing. To the untrained or untaught eye, the woods probably looked better before the timber harvesting took place. Yet for the woods to be as healthy as possible, there needs to be a removal of trees that are no longer healthy and are keeping other trees from growing. Pruning of any kind rarely looks pretty at the time it is done. The longer that the pruning process is put off, the more severe the pruning work looks. While this is true with trees and other growing plants, it is also true with the pruning God does in our life. Many times we resist the pruning that God desires to do in our life until it becomes some drastic work that God needs to do to cut out the unhealthy habits we have allowed into our life. When the pruning takes place, we can often be shocked at the major changes that have taken place yet we must always keep in mind that God knows what He is doing.
Not only is pruning important in our life, it is also vital that we are always prepared. We run fire drills and storm drills on a regular basis so we become familiar with what needs to be done in an emergency. Yet how often do we face a spiritual emergency and have absolutely no idea what to do? When I was much, much younger, we would do “sword drills”. At the time, I thought it was all about winning a chocolate bar for being the fastest to look up a scripture reference and read the verse out loud. Now I realize the importance of being prepared to know how and where to find the answers for any emergency. We prepare for the real emergencies in life by being comfortable and familiar with God’s Word. We “practice” by using God’s Word daily in everything we do. When we surround ourselves with the presence of God through His Word and His Spirit on a daily basis, we are prepared for anything that comes.
I pray that you and I would submit to the pruning of God on a daily basis and avoid the need for a drastic pruning later. I pray that we would always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ. I pray that we would spend time in God’s Word to prepare us not only for life on this earth, but more importantly for eternal life with Christ.