If I were a young apple tree, I probably wouldn’t like being pruned very much.
If I saw the gardener heading my way with secateurs or pruning shears, I’d probably flinch. I would hope that he would just give me a little trim, and leave most of my luxuriant growth intact.
But the gardener invariably has other ideas.
I’d watch in horror as one branch after another was lopped off. They seemed perfectly good to me, but the gardener thought otherwise.
Why has the gardener cut me back so severely?
To make me more fruitful.
God does the same with us, and we find it just as uncomfortable.
The truth is, pruning hurts, and it seems to involve so much wastage.
But our loving Heavenly Father knows that it’s for our own good. Scripture says that it’s for His glory that we bear much fruit.
Have you been taken aback recently by rising prices?
I think a lot of us have been suffering from sticker shock lately.
Whether it’s an item at the grocery store, gas at the pumps, or a house to live in, prices have been going up.
We look at something that we’re accustomed to buying at a certain amount and do a double-take at the suddenly inflated cost.
We think, “Are you kidding me? I’m not paying that much! They’ve got to be crazy charging that price.”
And off we stomp in a huff.
But aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t do the same?
He could easily have suffered from “sticker shock” when faced with the incalculable price He’d have to pay to save us from our sins.
If this were a normal Christmas, I imagine that many of us would be preparing to have guests over for the holidays.
We’d be spiffing up the house, decorating the Christmas tree, and getting the guest bedroom ready for overnight visitors.
We might also be planning the decorations for the dining table: choosing which candles and flowers to use, bringing out the best china, or making whimsical place cards.
It’s fun to prepare for guests, isn’t it? Selecting special touches that you know they’ll like, ensuring that they’ll be comfortable, even customizing things so that each guest feels cherished.
This year, however, COVID-19 has thrown a wrench into our Christmas plans. For many of us, preparing for guests is something that’s off the menu.
But did you know that there’s someone who’s still preparing a place for you, pandemic or not?
Life is a bit like the stock market, isn’t it?
The markets experience exuberant high points, crushing lows, and times when things just seem to meander sideways. So it is with our lives.
But there’s a trick to keeping your perspective: