Thursday, October 27, 2011

the one featuring wisdom from my momma




today i wanted to share a little something my sweet momma wrote. it's about some things the Lord has been teaching her about how He prunes us because He loves us (and it is good for us)...and i just love it.

as if you need more motivation to read it after seeing those two beautiful pictures of her above, here are a couple reasons why you should read on:: 
  1. she's the kindest, most forgiving, most loving, most supportive, most patient mom in the whole world
  2. by the grace of God, she has raised 7 children to know and love the Lord
  3. she's British (aka she can't help but be wise)
  4. she's an excellent writer
  5. most importantly, she loves the Lord above all else and knows Scripture backwards and forwards. 

reading this reminds me of how blessed i am to have such a godly woman and mentor as my momma.

Horses, Roses, and Tomato Plants 
Discipline has always carried the connotation for me of corrective action; an unpleasant consequence of bad behavior. For this reason, I don’t feel that I have been able to embrace much of the Scripture that speaks of this issue, without cringing. 
I have recently, however, come to understand the purpose and reason for discipline in the context of training horses to the bridle and bit. Though they fight it, and resist the loss of their independence, the reality is that they reach their greatest purpose in life when yoked to the will of their rider. In the same way, my beautiful roses will bloom best when I am vigilant about pruning and training them. I don’t cut them back because I am upset with them. No, I love them: their explosion of color and form, and I know that pruning will only cause them to bloom brighter and fuller in the way that they were created to. 
I have a long-running mutual disrespect for my tomato plants however. After years of being spindly, unyielding, ungrateful, wimpy-looking things, this year, they finally grew to enormous heights, with promise of a bountiful harvest. Of course I couldn’t bring myself to cut back the healthy-looking shoots – I had waited years for this kind of success. Just as the first tomatoes were ready to ripen, a strong wind blew the whole thing down, hiding the ripening fruit where the sun could no longer reach it, and limiting the amount of nutrition the plant was able to obtain….something to do with photosynthesis, I think. 
So all of this helped me finally to a new understanding of the importance of pruning. John 15:2 says, “Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. This is a good thing, a compliment even, despite the fact that branches don’t necessarily relish the pruning process. Deuteronomy 8 adds this perspective: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD”. Somehow it helps so much just to know that pruning and discpline is for a purpose – for greater fruit, and ultimately, to enrich our delight in Jesus, and our joy in Him as the One who alone can satisfy our deepest needs and longings. 
So now, instead of shunning them, I cherish the comfort of these verses in Hebrews 12, ”For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” 
How do we know when God is pruning and disciplining us? My answer to this is that pain, and the sense of being squeezed is usually a good indication. What is the “one thing” that if you could remove from your life, would make you so much happier? Chances are good that that very thing is God’s means of discipline and pruning in your life. 
So, 2 things – first, don’t miss the point by underestimating what your circumstances mean: “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,”, and second, don’t be discouraged,“nor be weary when reproved by him”. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 
Be glad that God views you as fruit-bearing, and loves you enough to use your present circumstances to create in you the potential for greater productivity. At the same time, He loves you enough to squeeze your heart until all the things that masquerade as soul-pleasers are exposed, and we come to know Jesus in greater ways as our only source of satisfaction and delight.

1 comment :

  1. Loved this! It was something I definitely needed to hear today. Thanks for sharing!

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Nicole