What I learned about God through pruning my garden

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What I learned about God through pruning my garden

Pruning is valuable, in the natural world but also in the spiritual.

At the end of the flower season, when lawn and garden nurseries start putting everything on sale, that’s when I like to shop.

The earliest blooms have already flourished and most customers have selected pots that cost anywhere from $10-$35 – beautiful pots filled with colorful blooms of the season. But in the middle of the summer, I go to one of my favorite nurseries and look in the back section – where they keep all the potted plants and flowers that did not sell. These are the rejects and because it is now the hottest part of the season, these are the pots that are priced at a bargain.

I feel a bit sorry for these rejected plants, but I have found such joy each year in resurrecting them, that I now consider them my special projects.

This year, I once again trooped to my favorite nursery and found a gigantic hanging plant. It was in such bad shape, I couldn’t even tell what kind of flowers it once held. The droopy, brown leaves looked sad, almost as if the plant whispered its last words, “Water me, please. Take me home and love me.”

So I paid a minimal price for this huge plant and carted it home. Then I set it on my deck and started pruning.

Off came all those brown, dead leaves and some of the blooms that had begun to blossom but failed to open. I watered the plant and talked sweetly to it,

“Come on, honey. You can do it. I know there’s life in you. I believe in you. Bless the plant, God.”

Then I hung it in a partially sunny area of my deck and waited.

Two days later, that plant started to bloom. Within a week of regular watering, clipping off more dead blooms and encouraging the plant with more sweet talk –new blooms appeared. By the end of the second week, no one would have ever recognized my new plant as a formerly rejected one.

I sat on my deck, enjoyed my new plant and thought about the pruning process.

In one of my favorite chapters of the Bible, the apostle John wrote,

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2 NIV).

So many times in life, God needs to prune me. He recognizes some of the dead stuff in my heart – the desire for things of this world that really aren’t that important, the over-consumption of goods that breed covetousness and greed, the impatience that pushes me to run ahead and make something happen instead of waiting on God’s timing.

These are the things he begins to prune from me. He reminds me with scripture when I need to be careful about a choice I’m about to make. He whispers a warning to me when I want to buy something unnecessary, and he puts roadblocks in front of me to keep me from a foolish decision.

Sometimes the pruning is a gentle nudge. Sometimes it’s a painful clipping of something I wanted to own or a project I wanted to do that wasn’t necessary. Sometimes God uses my body’s warning systems, reminding me to be careful and take better care of who I am.

The result of this spiritual pruning is so that I can bloom with more energy and make beauty in this scary world. After God prunes me and I confess whatever sin might be at the root of my deadness, then I begin to produce more of the harvest I was meant for. I begin to see good things resulting from my work and more opportunities to give the credit to God.

I’m so glad that God never rejects me. He never puts me on a shelf at the back of the store and refuses to water me. My season of fruitfulness doesn’t end until God takes me home to heaven.

God knows how to find new places for me to serve and new uses for the gifts he’s given me. He carefully tends to me and tears off the dead stuff so that I can show the beauty of what it’s like to be his.

I like being cared for by the Master Gardener, and I’m glad for the example of pruning in my own garden and in my own soul.

Read an earlier post by RJ here. 

About The Author
RJ Thesman
RJ Thesman
Hi – I’m Rebecca, but my byline is RJ. I live in the heartland of Kansas with my grown son and an elderly cat. As a Certified Christian Life Coach, I love helping my clients move forward in life, discover their core values and the gifts God has given them. Because my primary spiritual gift is teaching, I have seen God use that gift to mentor women from all walks of life and demographics. I have been mentored by older and wiser women so I know the value of the mentoring relationship and how we grow together. As a writer, I enjoy the creative process that merges truth with story, and I’m always searching for that perfect “word.” My personal blog is www.RJThesman.net, and I’d love for you to follow me there as well as here on Trochia. I’m also a gardener and a lover of blueberries – especially on cheesecake.
Leave a response
  • August 28, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Great thoughts. Thanks for your reminder on letting God be the master gardener. Here are some thoughts I had on pruning – http://www.whatthenwhynow.org/the-good-branch/

  • Mary Mcdowell Foster
    August 29, 2013 at 5:52 am


  • John R Biswas
    October 17, 2013 at 6:04 am

    Faith & hope.

  • Diane Bingham
    October 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

    patience, wait is that one

  • Regina S. Cox
    October 17, 2013 at 6:24 am


  • Scarlett Hutchinson
    October 17, 2013 at 6:28 am


  • Judy Miller
    October 17, 2013 at 7:40 am


  • Marie Thomas
    October 17, 2013 at 7:55 am

    loving kindness

  • Susan Bailey
    October 17, 2013 at 8:14 am


  • Rebecca Morgan Larson
    October 17, 2013 at 8:31 am


  • Patricia Lopez
    October 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

    every time I pray for fruitfulness Jesus gives me a challenging trial, so I’m hesitant to pray for any of it 🙁

  • Julia Blakeney
    October 17, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Know that it’s not Him who is trying to discourage you. He gives freely without hardship. It’s not Him, it’s the enemy. All you have to remember to do is to lean on Him. The enemy is going to try to make it seem like it’s impossible, even making it seem as though in order to get there He’s against to build you up. But look at this truth: James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (NASB) and as far as whether or not He’s the one challenging you, I pray you read and understand by the Holy Spirit 2 Cor. 12:7 “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me- to keep me from exalting myself!” Sister in Christ, it’s not that he’s challenging you, but He allows challenges to come from the enemy to help us not depend on our own efforts, but upon His Spirit of Truth. When your prayers are answered, when you recognize good and perfecting things, timing and changes in your life, remember Jesus heard you and answered even against the odds against you. Not you, but He did it for you. Wait on Him. Our faithfulness may come and go, but He is always and forever faithful. Father bless you with His Word, in Jesus name. I’ve been where you are, and it took me a while to realize it isn’t Him who’s challenging me, but the enemy is trying to deceive me and devour me and stop me from calling on the name of Jesus, because all things are possible through Him which strengthens us and HE said, ” Ask and you will receive, Seek and you will find, Knock and it will be opened.” Wait on the Lord. You may not understand, but know that He hasn’t given up on you, even if you’ve given up. He’s still right there with you, working things out. This message to you, is also a message to myself. Keeping you in prayer. Remember, every time we pray, Jesus hears, AND He intercedes for us.

  • Bettie Stanley
    October 17, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    No worrying

  • Patricia Lopez
    October 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    WOW Julia, thank you so very much !!!Very well put, very beautiful !!!!!!! and very well taken, it’s amazing what the Holy spirit does with us ! Thank You Jesus ! BLESSINGS TO YOU !

  • Donald C.Vest
    October 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm


  • Lena West
    October 17, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    long suffering

  • Evelyn Skinner
    October 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm


  • Carolyn Crockett
    October 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm


  • Manuel Bonilla
    October 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm


  • Joyce Thacker Mitchell
    October 18, 2013 at 5:50 am



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