It was an awful sight.
I drove into my apartment parking lot this afternoon and saw rows of tree trucks. I’m not sure of the technical name for them, but they’re the trucks with the long arms on them and the people-baskets on the ends. The people-baskets that hold the workers who cut down the trees.
Well, they aren’t actually “my” trees. But they do grow outside my bedroom windows. And I love them. And I don’t want to see them cut down. Or cut back.
But cutting back was apparently on the tree-truck agenda for today. The lovely swaying palm tree outside my bedroom window was cut back to a few sad fronds sticking right out the middle of it. And there was my bedroom window, bare and exposed and in need of some shade.
I know the tree will grow back. And I know there was a reason why the tree-truck people hacked away so mercilessly at “my tree”. But it still made me sad.
Sometimes God hacks away (or so it seems) at things in our lives. Things we’ve grown accustomed to, things we “need”, things we cherish. And it seems harsh and unnecessary and it leaves us feeling exposed and sad.
But just as the tree-truck people had a reason for trimming my palm trees, God has a reason for allowing some pruning in our lives, too. Pruning makes a tree healthier. Pruning cuts away the parts that might not be growing the way they should. Pruning helps what is left of the tree get stronger.
The palm fronds may be gone, but that tree is still strong. It was just pruned. And it’s the same way with us.
So bring on those tree-trucks if that’s what I need, Lord. I trust that whatever you cut away or leave behind is all part of Your plan. I might wince and wish for a moment that You hadn’t done it, but I know I’m going to be OK. Actually, better than OK.
Better than I was before.
For there is hope for a tree if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Job 14:7
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. John 15:2
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17