'Pruning' is not my favorite word for several reasons. One of which being that I have a very visual mind, which translates into the visuals of 1. Prunes. 2. Senior citizens 3. Really big scissors. All that aside, pruning has been in God's vocabulary with me as of late.
Thing thing about pruning is, if you're the bystander, the effects of the pruning are fantastic; The tree looks beautiful after the work is finished, and there is not much to complain about. However, if you are the tree being pruned... you experience a whole lot of stuff before the result is achieved. You experience a strange man with an Indiana Jones hat coming towards your branches with very sharp scissors. Shortly after the shock of the VISUAL of the man and his scissors, you experience the sting of the shears on your skin (or tree-bark...whatever analogy we decide to stick with.)But still, the hardest part is to come. It isn't the fear of the scissors, or even the pruning itself that hurts the most; it is watching your branches fall to the ground and lay before eyes. It is seeing your ugly and tattered branches scattered in the dirt. It is realizing how long those branches have been attached to your skin, and wondering why on earth you were so blind to the ugliness that covered up many of your green leaves. And still, it is knowing there is more to be pruned; the work is never finished because the pruner is about achieving the fullness of your growth and beauty.
I am the Lord's tree, and I am the Lord's poem. He placed me on His canvas and painted me perfectly, but my battle with my human nature never ceases to blot awful shades on my roots. I struggle not against my own branches and life-source, but against the bugs that eat away at my core... my shortcomings, flaws, and (oh hey, Biblical term!), the rulers and principalities of this world. God has been shaping and pruning me softly, but it still hurts. There is so much about my life that God has been growing and changing, and I couldn't be more grateful for all the newness that's been brought into my life because of it. There is honestly nothing in my life that isn't at a place of surrender right now, but that doesn't mean the pruning is finished... it only means there's less of a fight. I have so many unhealthy habits and patterns that have formed a sequence of beliefs and actions in my day to day life. My inability to grasp (fully) my identity in Christ has left me to my own human understanding, and has allowed my mind to take control of the heart that is destined to beat for Him alone. Clearly this will not do... hence the pruning that is taking place. God is not just my teacher, cramming truth down my throat. God is my lover, and my painter, and I am His canvas. His gentle brush-strokes show me the love and heart that is behind all the Truth He speaks. The truth about life, and the truth about who I am.
Green is my favorite color because it represents new life. The pruning is painful, but I'm coming to the understanding that the pruning makes things green, and green is the now because He is making me a new creation.
Go green. It's worth it.