The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. Genesis 2:9
I have been doing a lot of pruning around our section lately in preparation for spring and I still have a lot to go! I am motivated to get the gardens pruned back properly this year though, because last year I didn’t get it all done and some of the trees and bushes overgrew and those gardens turned into upright messes. Except some of them didn’t stay upright! The plants lost their shape and their branches broke, from the weight of extra growth on stems that hadn’t had a chance to grow strong enough to cope with the extra burden. One fruit tree was so laden down with apples that it bent right over. It looked like it was trying to touch its roots!
This situation emphasised to me that pruning trees before springtime arrives allows them to cope with the new growth that is on its way at this time of the year. The process of cutting off all unnecessary branches and surplus growth ensures that strong foundational trunks and branches receive any new growth that occurs. Pruning the tree protects it, secures it future and also, in the case of our numerous camellia trees, keeps it in aesthetic harmony with the rest of the garden. Following a careful pruning a fruit tree is ready to carry out its next round of fruit production and a flower tree is ready to bloom and provide beauty and much needed pollen. A lot of pruning occurs in winter, simply because it is the season before spring.
Our lives have their own pruning times, their own winters. These are hard seasons, when we don’t really want the pain pruning causes. As Christians though we can choose to look ahead to the times when God will bless and multiply our fruit. Being a blessing to others is being fruitful in our calling and often we are more able to be a blessing and move in our calling when we have experienced a pruning season.