I was in church last week Saturday to pick up my daughter from dance class but I had to wait due to being early. I was sitting and waiting in the lobby area where the person (Sister Sharon) who is assigned to cleaning and maintaining the church was executing her duties.

It is widely accepted that Sister Sharon does and exceptional job at keeping the church clean and tidy. It is obvious that she goes about her job with pride and a great deal of care. But the thing is, I don’t believe that most church members see how hard she works to have the church at a presentable standard on a Sunday morning and other service days. They just come and see the beauty of the finish product and take it in, or take it for granted with little thought of what happens behind the scene.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not pointing fingers at anyone because this happens to everyone. Who is without sin cast the first stone (John 8:7). We see persons with good jobs and don’t reflect on the nights they were studying for long hours in order to get qualified, we see persons holding high office but don’t consider how hard they worked night and day over the years to reach the top, we see persons driving nice cars and having beautiful homes and hardly think about the blood and sweat that went into attaining it. We have a way about us that most times we just see the good things about the here and now and pay little attention to the long roughed road that led to it.

The success we often have comes with hardship and difficulty and a shaping and grooming of our lives. This became more evident to me while sitting and watching Sharon that Saturday morning. Sharon was pruning and trimming some Palm Plants which we have in our sanctuary. I observed her with care, cutting and pulling out the dead and unwanted leaves with surgical precision. No wonder this greenery is blossoming and looking so good on a Sunday morning. It is a direct result of her pruning and horticultural actions.

Pruning: this practice entails targeted removal of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants. (Reference)

While observing Sharon God had me think about how His hands are upon us as master pruner and chief horticulturalist of our lives. You see, the great outcomes I listed above, the great end product things, cannot come without the shaping of God’s hands. He is our pruner and potter (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:1-4 ). He has to be the one to remove the diseased, damage, dead, unproductive, and unsound things in our lives. Becoming like beautiful foliage takes work, attaining excellence in this world takes work, so why it is we feel that Spiritual excellence should be different?

I encourage us all today to submit to the pruner/potters  hands. His thoughts and actions towards us are for good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). The principle is, all of us have to go through processes of refinement. But we can stand with hope and confidence knowing that God is making us into something better.

I want you to know that anytime God is making something new He makes something old uncomfortable. (e.g God might want to give you a new job or turn you into an entrepreneur, so he makes your old job uncomfortable by allowing your boss to pressure you – all this is pruning.)

Embrace it my friends, the discomfort you might be feeling now due to the pruning of life situations WILL LEAD TO A BETTER YOU!  In the end when people see the beautiful final product of God’s shaping in our lives we can point backwards and say, “it wasn’t easy, but it was the Lords doing and it was marvellous in my eyes – to God be the Glory!”.

PS: Dane Miller was last seeing registering for a course in horticulture.

Your Brother in the Lord,

Dane Miller | Author

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