The Seasons of Life (Part II)

God’s seasons have profound physical and spiritual ramifications. The more in tune we are with our season, the better aligned we are with God’s purpose and the less frustrated we are with our state in life!

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:1-4

In our success-oriented culture, we love and aspire to be like those who can do everything without slowing down. However, when we look at nature, God has designed it so that even the earth takes a break. In Fall and winter, the vegetation goes into a quiet existence. It stops producing new leaves, fruit, or flowers.

I saw my gardener last week cutting off and pruning our shrubs. On the surface, it seems random. Why now and why today? He knows cold winter days are the best time to prune the vegetation. According to one source, you should prune 6-10 weeks before the average last frost in your area. So when gardeners prune, they have an end in mind and are intentional about preparing the plant for fruitful production in the new season.

Gardeners use the wintertime to prune dead or useless branches. Those leaves and branches had a purpose in the past seasons, but they are no longer beneficial. They need to go so the new production can take its place.

Similarly, we go through the fall and winter seasons with God. He examines our branches as an expert gardener, and He knows what has not been fruitful in our lives. He cuts off those unfruitful branches. He also cuts off the branches with some fruit but prunes them to bear more fruit.

What if we slowed down this week and allowed God to speak to us about what needs to change? The Lord graciously will bring to our attention those things that have become diseased and caused emotional, mental, or physical baggage. It is time to shed everything that impacts our spiritual health and well-being. It is time for God to prune those things for new life to grow. We cannot hold on to the past but expect new and fresh growth.

What is God speaking to you about the branches that have become diseased or unfruitful? Are you willing to look bare and give up those branches? Are you ready to let go of people that may result in feeling lonely? Are you keen to say “no” to activities that you feel are important? Can you live without the need to impress others so God can do a more profound work in you?

Who do you need to forgive to cut off bitterness in your heart? Are you willing to cut off murmuring, complaining, and gossip and trust God’s work in your circumstances?

If we believe in God for better things in the future, then we should use this opportunity to consider God’s good purpose in our particular season and not be afraid of the change it requires.

 I will continue with this subject in the next devotional. 


Image by Babs Müller from Pixabay

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