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When Pruning Must Wait

There are times in life when we’re busy. Then there are times in life when we are unrealistically busy. I’m at the ‘unrealistically busy’ juncture. In our Ladies’ Bible Study we were studying having a purpose statement for our lives so that we don’t, by default, live by the greatest screaming demand in our life instead of for what counts for eternity.

A visual word picture was given, viewing our lives as a tree. The trunk represents our relationship to God, the limbs represent our major God-given responsibilities, and the smaller branches represent the activities and opportunities of life. It went on to conjure up the picture in our minds of our main purpose in life becoming obscured by an overabundance of activity branches. Taking time to prune back the activity branches in our lives was deemed a good thing to do on a regular basis.
I thought that was a great idea. The incessant planner in me started running over the possibilities as I drove back and forth from work. I even drew a rough picture of a tree with labels on the trunk, the supporting branches and on the activity branches (NOT while I was driving!). The problem was when it came to pruning there just wasn’t anything that I could realistically prune away at the present time. The only things I could prune were those that I thought would be great ideas to do, but hadn’t even made it onto paper because I knew I lacked time to do them! The activities on my tree weren’t frivolous, but essential to the health of the supporting branches. To prune them at this time would damage the tree, and by default the large branch would crash into the other trees in the forest of my life damaging those as well.

I had a moment of panic.

“But God, if I’m to prune my tree and there’s nothing to prune, how do I do this? You know I’m feeling wiped out. You know I can’t keep this up forever… .”

Hmm…. He knows I can’t keep this up forever? Am I know telling HIM what HE knows? What He knows is my frame, exactly what I am and am not capable of doing as I allow Him to be the trunk of my tree of life, as I allow my purpose in life to be wrapped up in Him first and foremost. He knows what is best for me at every stage of my life. He knows what will grow strong roots in my life, how to make my life most effective in reaching out to others in the ‘forest’ around me. He knows my frame better than I know it! Am I really trying to tell Him that He knows what? That He’s making a mistake by giving me this load?

The moment of panic passed.

“Okay, God, maybe I can’t do this alone, but with YOU all things are possible. I will trust YOU for the timing of when and if my major branches can be carefully removed, or when some of those lowly activity branches will have lived out their purpose or be capable of being delegated elsewhere. In the meantime, I’ll remember that YOU are the master architect. You know my frame, my structure. You know exactly how much stress my frame can bear. I will trust You.”

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