If you live in my area of the country, you are aware that we have been racked with some pretty good storms over the past week that have caused lots of damage and left many without power for extended stretches.
Two nights ago I went out to cut my grass. As I surveyed the scene, I was struck with how awful it looked. The grass was not only long, but was covered by sticks and limbs that had been dislodged from the trees in our yard. I realized that I had to clean that up before I could mow so I did what any father would do...I got my son to help me.
We picked what we thought were all of them up and I began cutting the lawn. I kid you not, over the next hour to hour and a half of mowing, I stopped at least 7 times to pick up more sticks along the way (usually handfuls of them). It seemed like it was never ending.
As I completed the lawn, I looked over our back yard and was amazed at the transformation. What once was ugly, now looked great.
Lately I have been reading John 15 and in that chapter, Jesus shares these words, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." (John 15:1-2)
So, in my yard the branches that were dead got removed and even some live branches were pruned away. Jesus is telling us that our lives are just like this. The interesting thing is that He says we are going to get cut either way...so we might as well bear fruit and be pruned!
No matter what, if the landscape of our life looks bleak or hopeless or less than beautiful, know that the Master Gardener can make it look great again!