We have officially reached that time of the year which I affectionately refer to as ‘The Crispy Season’.
Outside, the plants that were lush and bright only last week are now dry and wilting. The spiders are in their heydey, weaving webs all around the yard where they glisten in the hot August sun.
The other night after dinner we all went outside to try and make the most of these last evenings of summer. The kids rode their bikes and scooters while my husband and I puttered around the yard. At one point Robb stopped me to ask if I wanted him to go ahead and trim back the hostas which encircle a fountain in front of our house. They looked so sad and droopy. The evidence of being munched on by hungry snails was obvious and the blossoms had long since dried up. They were totally and utterly pitiful.
And yet, I actually hesitated to answer my husband’s question. As he stood there, shears poised in the ready position, I wasn’t sure if I really did want them trimmed down. Because, to cut them back meant that there would be nothing left. Nothing blooming. That area all around the fountain would just be bare dirt. And I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. It would mean that this season really is almost over.
And I couldn’t help but think about my own ‘crispy’ seasons. The times in my faith journey when I’ve been made painfully aware of the drying, decayed areas that are ready to be cut back.
But so often, I find that I’m hesitant to cut those dried up places out of my heart. I cling to them, foolishly believing the lie that it’s better to have something there than nothing.
Reading through the Psalms recently, I came to a small portion of a verse that made me squirm a bit. It resonated, convicted, challenged.
From Psalm 68:6 “…only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”
When we stay in those parched places, allowing the sin to remain, our rebellion prohibits us from experiencing the sweet relief of God’s overwhelming grace and forgiveness.
If I never cut back those crispy, dried up blooms on the bushes in my yard, I’m cheating the entire plant out of the opportunity to reach it’s full potential of healthiness. And if I never cut out those dried up, sinful areas of my life, I’m cheating my heart out of it’s own full healthy potential. Because once the dead and decayed is removed there is room for new growth.
But in the meantime, like those plants, I’m left a bit exposed. And it’s the exposure that always makes me hesitate.
In my humanness, I want to cut off the dead stuff and see fresh beauty immediately. I want that dried up bloom to be replaced by a new one instantaneously. But, that’s not how it works.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:13
Before I am able to see the evidence of new growth, I must first spend time laid bare. And it’s uncomfortable, this place of being uncovered. But this is where all of the good stuff really happens. This is where the dying, decaying sinful areas are truly laid to rest. This is where the room is made for new life to being peeking through. Slowly at first and then bursting forth into glorious blooming evidence of God’s mercy.
So, I cut back those dried up blooms on my plants. And I cut back the dried up areas of sin in my heart.
Because no matter how much time I must spend exposed, without the visible evidence of fresh growth, I know that the crispy season will eventually give way to a new season. I will get to see what happens when I let go of that which would have kept me from ever seeing the fruit of new life springing forth.
And the fruit is what I long for. Fruit that points to the heart of my Savior and His deep love for His children.
Fruit that is far more beautiful than any dried bloom.
So very true, Vanessa…and the beauty of spring in our life makes the pruning so worth it.
Thank you for this gentle reminder to prune the sin from my heart!
Timely. Oh so timely. And beautiful. Abundant blessings to you.
Thank you. Such a needed message for the world and my soul. Well said. Heartfelt. God bless you.
Diane | An Extraordinary Day says
Vanessa… you drew me in with your garden illustration. I think we’re all so familiar with the pruning of the vines illustration and Jesus’ teaching about being grafted into him. But, I liked this different way of applying that teaching to all that’s dying and withering in our gardens. I don’t think I’ll be looking at this season the same way again. (BTW… I despise the crispiness of the season… it usually just reminds me of the upcoming winter and the 5 or 6 months of gray sticks and leafless trees.) Instead, I’ll be seeing the potential for the goodness ahead and all that God can do in my life if I’m willing and not dwell on the “crispiness” of the season.
All the best for an extraordinary week!
Thank you for this message of pruning our heart. It may be difficult, but the next blooming season will be so much brighter!
May your week be as blessed as you ave made my evening.
I love stopping by because you are so inspiring and kind. I appreciate you sharing your heart with us.
Very timely for myself. Thank you.
Clearissa Coward says
This post is excellent and I love the analogy. Purging is a great thing. Whether in and around one’s home or an internal or spiritual cleanse can move our lives to greater heights as promised in His word. Loved it.
Such a good analogy. Thank you for sharing.
Lisa Appelo says
I saw something similar at the beginning of summer when I cut my knock out roses way back. i’d thought about pulling them out altogether they’d become so straggly, but lo and behold, that pruning did just what scripture says — bore great fruit. The bushes were laden with gorgeous blooms. Man, pruning hurts but God does so much in it. Great words, Vanessa.