Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Gardener

My Father is the gardener (John 15:1)

It is a comforting thought that trouble, in whatever
form it comes to us, is a heavenly messenger that 
brings us something from God. Outwardly it may
appear painful or even destructive, but inwardly
its spiritual work produces blessings. Many of the
richest blessings we have inherited are the fruit of
sorrow or pain. We should never forget that 
redemption, the world's greatest blessing, is the fruit 
of the world's greatest sorrow. And whenever a time 
of deep prunning comes and the knife cuts deeply 
and the pain is severe, what an inexpressible comfort 
it is to know: "My Father is the gardener."

John Vincent, a Methodist Episcable bishop of the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and a
leader of the Sunday School movement in America,
once told of being in a large greenhouse where 
clusters of luscious grapes were hanging on each
side. The owner of the greenhouse told him, "When
the new gardener came here, he said he would not
work with the vines unless he could cut them 
completely down to the stalk. I allowed him to do
so, and we had no grapes for two years, but this is
now the result."

There is rich symbolism in this account of the pruning 
process when applied to the Christian life. Pruning 
seems to be destroying the vine, and the gardener 
appears to be cutting everything away. Yet he sees 
the future and knows that the final result will be the
enrichment of the life of the vine, and a greater 
abundance of fruit.

There are many blessings we will never receive until
we are ready to pay the price of pain, for the path of
suffering is the only way to reach them. JR Miller

Reader, Do you trust Him? You will not know the
answer unless you get quiet and listen to His voice.
He loves you so much.

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