Cutting away the good....

Colorado had unquenchable fires then uncontrollable floods.

In New Jersey, the reverse.

The flood from last year's record-breaking "super storm" "perfect storm" Sandy left the Jersey shore, particularly the Seaside areas, reeling.

Then this week, a destructive fire on the Seaside boardwalk, newly restored after the devastating flood, caused the loss of 68 businesses and close to $2 million in damage.

I'm no expert in firefighting, but news reports of both the Colorado and New Jersey fires reported a similar strategy. In Colorado, intentional boundary fires were set to control the path of the blaze and limit the destruction. 

In New Jersey, a section of the boardwalk was cut out creating a gap to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading:

In normal circumstances, setting a fire or cutting the boardwalk would be criminal. But in these situations, the experts knew it was necessary to destroy something good in order to prevent further widespread destruction.

Jesus had something to say about cutting away something good for the better. 

“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

Did you catch that? Every branch that DOES bear fruit, He prunes. Why? So that it can be even more fruitful. 

Hanging in my office, I have what once was a lovely lush philodendren that is now stringy and sparse. My neglect allowed it to grow longer and longer. Had I trimmed it, it'd be much fuller. So recently I lopped off some perfectly good branches to stimulate new growth.  

In my garden, I have to cut away seemingly perfectly good branches because they become "suckers." If left to grow, they will draw precious fruit or flower-bearing energy away from the rest of the plant. 

Now if the boardwalk planks could talk, I'm sure they'd be screaming when the firefighters took their axes to them. The Colorado boundary trees might argue that the fire is over there, don't torch us! Or my plants would weep when I approached with my scissors. 

In life, sometimes we have to choose to eliminate some seemingly perfect activities or opportunities. And sometimes, God the Gardner removes them for us. Why? Because He loves us. Because He doesn't neglect us. Because He knows what's best for us. 

When such situations occur, we must remember that despite the pain of loss, it's for our own protection or fruitfulness. We can trust the Master Gardener to prune at the right time, using the right tools, removing the right branches, for the right purpose. 

Have you been pruned? How can I pray for you, beloved? 


Our Stories God's Glory said...

Oh my...word in due season. I'm feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted. Yes, Lord, prune me!

quietspirit said...

Susan: Please pray for my church's drama team. Please pray that I can be helpful to the troupe and that I don't have any fibro flares that limit me during this time.

Susan Allen Panzica said...

Cecelia - yes I will keep that - and you - in prayer.
Elise - may you sense His leading and allow Him to trim ;D