Pruning is something I have to make myself do. I like things to look natural. At some point, whether it’s a beard or a bush, most things can use trimming up.

So I snipped.

I snipped too fast.

I do quite a few things too fast.

The roses in my garden looked leggy, so I retrieved my pruning clippers, garbage can, and my most protective gardening gloves. Snip. Snip.

I took me a while to learn not to wince while pruning. I loved all the leaves or flowers on branches, vines, and stalks that bring me such peace and joy in my garden. Without regular pruning, however, many of the things I love grow awkward, out-of-shape, and crowd out other beauties nearby.

Pruning is a necessary element in a garden and a soul. So is paying attention.

If we do life too fast, we lose an opportunity to enjoy beauty.

In winter, a hard pruning of the rose bushes produces abundant new growth in spring. In Florida, the roses are dormant in winter, but often they bloom throughout the season, especially the shrub rose. So there’s no good time or day to prune the roses. Just do so before the onset of spring, warm weather, fresh growth.

When pruning, keep your eyes on your work.

Soon the clipped branches filled the garbage can. Some branches, unattended too long, had to be cut down into smaller sections to fit. The work tired me and as usual, I pushed myself to go on a bit more. Sometimes, it’s better to rest, take a break, or simply continue the work the next day.

I took my eyes off the branch I was trimming, assessing the next one to prune. Clip. Clip.

As I placed the pruned branches in the trash can, a lovely red lip smiled at me from inside its bud. I shook my head. I’d clipped a bloom which I tried not to do in this particular pruning. Putting it aside, I slowed myself down a smitch and finished my work.

After closing the lid on the clippings and putting the trashcan roadside to be collected, I stored my garden gloves and clipper, then took the budding branch inside and placed it in a glass jar.


[bctt tweet=”When pruning, keep your eyes on your work. When being pruned, keep your eyes on God” username=”chrismanionbook”]


Chris Sauter Manion

That one clipping rewarded me for over a week with a glorious opening of its petals, smiling at me on my windowsill as I washed vegetables, dishes, and filled my filtered water container. An accidental clipping became a lesson of how God uses everything, how beauty exists in each moment when we slow ourselves enough to take the time to notice.

a double blossom peace rose

See as God sees

How easily God forgives our sins as I forgave myself for a careless clipping. And how refreshing one single recovered flower or sinner can be to the one who sees its beauty.

Of course, there are no mistakes when God does His pruning.

The next time you sense a pruning moment for your heavenly Father, perhaps you might shift what you focus on. Instead of the pruned place that smarts from the shaping or discipline, perhaps you can see yourself in God’s vase as He gazes upon you day after day, waiting for you to open your beauty to Him, seeing His loving eyes upon you, and the smile you bring to His face.

Instead of focusing on what you may have lost, focus on where new sprouts are budding. Where do you sense that happening within you? Around you?

Quotes to Memorize about Pruning

image of a fresh cut on a tree branch shows what a pruned branch looks like
a freshly pruned branch cut stands out

Spiritual pruning enhances spiritual growth by removing whatever inhibits growth. Memorize one or two of these Scripture quotes to remind you of this truth. Behold yourself as God’s beloved, as God’s holy temple, as a beautiful flower or fruit tree in God’s garden.

“And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Revelation 21:5

“Remember not the former things,
    nor consider the things of old.”

Isaiah 43:18

“For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and I shall not remember the former things
    or come into mind.”

Isaiah 65:17
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