Just when is deadwood deadwood? Oh, I don't mean the town in South Dakota, I mean deadwood by definition, as in something unwanted and unneeded, the discard pile in the gardening game. Sometimes debris is easy to identify, and sometimes it is created for the greater good of the plant. I talked about this idea in the literal sense on a gardening post. Today, J.R. Miller reflects on the spiritual side on this topic for us:
My Father is the gardener. (John 15:1)
"John Vincent, a Methodist Episcopal bishop...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 he 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 cine, and a greater abundance of fruit. There are many blessings we will never receive until we are ready to pay the price..."