while every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
John 15:2 (NIV)
When you look at this photo, do you see death or new life? Too often I focus on the areas within myself that are broken and forget to recognize the areas of growth the Lord has brought me.
I found myself thinking about the prodigal son again this morning. The Lord showed me that there is even more to what I once thought was a simple, straight-forward story. (There always is.)
When I focus on all that's "broken" in my life I end up feeling defeated. Rather than seek the Lord in relationship, I turn to Him in frustration.
The inheritance I demand is far more than a financial settlement. I demand perfection. And like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "I want it, and I want it NOW!"
I become tired of battling the same sins, weaknesses and problems day in and day out. I want the Lord to change me and I don't want to wait any longer.
Ouch. Just reading that last sentence makes my ears (and heart) ache. It's certainly not pretty, is it?
I began to pray about my negative attitude and lack of gratefulness for all that the Lord has done for me so far. He showed me five areas that I can focus on.
First of all, I can stop navel gazing, as one of my favorite counselors calls it. :-) When I'm so focused on myself, I'm missing out on all of the blessings and goodness around me.
Second, I can stop focusing on seemingly "broken" areas and acknowledge the new life God has brought me.
Third, I can be thankful for the work that God has done in my life. Oh, He has done so much! I'm sad how quickly I forget the miracles He has worked on my behalf.
Fourth, I can trust in His timing and know that He is working in and through me, regardless of whether I see it or not.
Finally, I can continue to seek more of Him. It is only through my relationship with Him that I find the grace, strength and power I need to live each day victoriously.
It's through His grace that He sees me, not the mess I feel like, but the redeemed child He so greatly adores.
It's in my weakness that His strength is glorified.
And, it's through His power that all things are being made new.
Isn't He amazing?!?
Friend, I pray that you are able to see the areas in your life that God has brought growth and victory. I pray that God will give you the grace to trust in His timing and care.
May we may both rest in the safe hands of the Gardener. And may we trust that He will prune away the unnecessary branches allowing for new life and blossoms to grow.
Keep pursuing Him and enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!
Off to spend time with my merciful Gardener,