I spent 45 minutes waiting for my husband. He had dropped me off at the nursery where I had uninterrupted time to spend with flowers. I was careful to finish my purchases on time and waited for him with my flowers. But, as is life in France, he got caught in lines, lines, lines so he was tardy picking me up.
So, I spent my time deadheading daisies. I purchased some amazing pink and magenta daisies, all different shades of pink on one plant. Yet, some daisies were spent and browning. Like a good little gardener, I pinched off the decaying heads, all the time reflecting on our difficult first year as missionaries. It was then the Lord whispered to my soul. “I’m deadheading you,” He said. I knew what He meant. A plant flowers more profusely when its spent flowers are excised.
Some of the spent blooms were so small, so insignificant. I wondered if it even mattered if I deadheaded them. But as God’s words tendriled around my heart, I knew. He is in the pruning business, of small areas and big. At first He deadheaded my security, my need for approval, my fear, my expectations–big flowers. And now He’s pinching the smaller flowers: little agendas, small choices, petty irritations. All the pruning is so that He can bear more fruit through me. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit,” Jesus said, “He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2).
I continued to wait for Patrick. I spied a small branch that had been severed from the plant. It was wilted, lifeless. The melody of John 15 continued to play in my head: “…For apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up…” (vs. 5-6).
Last, I played a silly game. I plucked the petals of one of the daisies.
“He loves me.”
“He loves me not,” I said as I plucked.
Do you ever play silly games with God? I had been asking Him of late to show me in tangible ways that He saw me here and loved me. It made me smile when I ended the daisy with “He loves me,” echoes of John 15:9: “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love.”
So, thank You Jesus for loving me, even as I plucked petals. Thank You for pruning me, even though this year of pruning has been excruciating at times. Thank You that You will bear flowers in my life. Thank You for delaying Patrick so I could learn Your lesson of flowers. I want to stay connected to You. Hold me there in that connectivity. Amen.