Christian Life

When the Master Gardener is “Thinning” You

8572318025_916cf04e18_z“I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” -Jesus

Back in Florida we had a church garden. One of the sisters offered her backyard, so we took a few weekends to dig everything up and plant a beautiful garden. I’ve never been around much gardening; my Papa grew tomatoes, but I basically just joined in on the eating. I was excited for the opportunity to learn and for the kids to learn as well.

As I was thinning some bok choi one afternoon, I saw a picture of the Lord.  You see, thinning is a process that must be done carefully.  The point of thinning is to give the garden the best chance of a good harvest.  If there are too many plants, then none will grow fully.

To make sure I didn’t damage the seedling that was meant to be left, I had to get on my elbows and knees and put my face down close to the ground to see exactly which plant I was pulling up.  I had to separate the plants carefully and at times hold down the plant meant to remain while I pulled up others that were very close to it.  I also had to pull up strong plants sometimes, simply because they were not in the proper place.  But for the health of the garden it was the best thing.

Through this process I was reminded of how tenderly and closely the Lord brings Himself to us, to tend His Life within us.  He lowered Himself to the point of becoming man to care for us.  Now He draws so close to us that He actually dwells within us.  We do not have some far away Lord, just barking orders and making demands.  We have a God that is desperate to be near us and for us to be near Him, so He purposed to be as close to us as Divinely possible.  To reside in us, “Christ IN you all, the hope of glory.”

What a beautiful miracle!

Another Sister reminded me that even the plants that are pulled up are not wasted.  They go into the compost pile, and through their death, become food for the garden.

And when the Master Gardener is “thinning” the garden of our hearts, He does so with care.  He is “thinning” so that His Life has more room to grow. And even though He may, at times, have to pull what is a stronger seedling (and therefore appears to be “more good”), we can trust that He knows what is best, and we can yield to the process.

The seedlings that I thinned that day didn’t try to thin themselves and we don’t have to either. Actually, it is better if we don’t try at all. The task we are given is to abide in The Garden, who is Jesus Christ himself. To absorb the nutrients in the Land, the Living Water, and the Light. The Master Gardener does the rest.

And by His Divine power, He will reap a harvest in us.

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6 Comment

  1. Reply
    kenneth dawson
    October 15, 2014 at 6:44 am

    yes that is so good–he is the gardener and you better leave it up to him on how he wants to do the gardening–don’t worry he will use you as a gardening instrument.

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      October 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Yes, brother, it is His garden! =)
      Bridget Babione recently posted…What Does “Faithful and True” Actually Mean?My Profile

  2. Reply
    Amanda Iosa
    October 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    What a picture of the Lord’s “dealings” with us, and so true. At the beginning of the year, our Gardener literally told me, “I’m pruning you.” Ouch. And he really, really has. For all practical purposes, He’s pruned back to Himself alone. The losses this year have been painful and many, but have made room for a growth of His life like I never imagined. I’ve felt His warm, steady love through the whole process. I wouldn’t want a single thing back that He’s cut away. He’s worth the cost.

    He really does work in and around us tenderly, as you said, even when the pruning feels drastic and violent. He knows just how to bring forth the fruit He desires. He’s careful and thoughtful about everything He does. And yes, He is SO wonderfuly close! He’s overwhelming. What an incredible Lord! May it ALL bring forth the fulfillment of His Eternal Purpose!

    Thank you for the opportunity to reflect on His love in this way.
    Amanda Iosa recently posted…Lord of the DanceMy Profile

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      October 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      “He has pruned back to Himself alone.” Wonderful! Our all-sufficient Christ is truly more than enough.
      “May it ALL bring forth the fulfillment of His Eternal Purpose!” Yes and Amen!!!
      Bridget Babione recently posted…What Does “Faithful and True” Actually Mean?My Profile

  3. Reply
    October 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Oh wow. I can so relate to this!

    As much as I desire to be “thinned” so that His life has more room to grow in me, the pain and discomfort from going through pruning can feel pointless and unbearable at times. It’s usually not until I am able to look back on the experience that I can clearly see the hand of the Lord at work.

    Thankfully the more He prunes me, the more steadfast I am in believing that He knows best. That I can trust in His process. That I’m willing to yield to it even (especially) when it doesn’t make sense.

    The more I allow myself to ‘rest’ in Him, even through the turmoil, I live in the peace of the Lord. He is my contentment. I am fulfilled in Him.

  4. Reply
    October 22, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Just now seeing this….Love it!

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