I've been trimming our hedge today, and it reminded me how we have to be trimmed by the Heavenly Gardener also. It's hard work to do this and to get the hedge back to looking good again….no doubt it also hurts the hedge trees! Certainly trimming us of our bad habits and thoughts takes time and effort on our part and often hurts us in the process. Nor is trimming the hedge a one-off process….it needs to be done continually, and so it is with us.
Just as the trimming neatens and tidies up the hedge, and makes it good to look at and enhances the general garden appearance, so the trimming that God gives us does the same in our lives….in fact we are told in the Bible that "No chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it. So therefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed (Hebrews 12:11-13 KJV).
Not only does this pruning tidy things up, but in fruit trees, it also helps to the trees to bear fruit. In exactly the same way, we cannot bear fruit for God until we are trimmed up with all the rough branches and dead twigs in our lives cut off. This is truly just dead wood. So much that we get involved in seems good at the time, but in the end it is only dead wood, and has no fruit for the Master Gardener. This is where we have to be alert and cut out spending our time fruitlessly (in every sense of the word!)
John tells us that the only way we can bear fruit for the Lord is to abide in Him ; that is, to do His will and ask Him what we should do (John 15:1-6). Unless we do this we cannot abide in Him…..there is no room for Him when our will is taking over. We must bow to His will in all that we do, so we can bear fruit for Him..
Let's take these thoughts to heart, clean our act up and get going again!