A good pruning…

It’s been said that “God plays rough with those He loves” – from which one can only really assume that if you are experiencing hardship, pain and suffering, then the Heavenly Gardener must be giving you a really good pruning.

Why do we, as humans, prune something? So that it will flower, strengthen and grow. But it can be such a painful process! Well, at least we know that the Heavenly Gardener asks nothing of us that He has not already suffered Himself – and it is comforting to the soul to know we are truly led by example.

However, we also know that growth via pruning is a painful, tough, bastard of a process and that humour, coffee and the occasional sanity check is the only way to push forward – trusting and hoping in God; that our Heavenly Father has done this before and knows how it works … and that He has intimate knowledge of our sufferings but will push us on. This grace filled support however, seems also to come with the expectation that we can make it through because even if we stumble or fall, He’s already waiting to catch us if uniting ourselves to Him is what we truly seek.

How easy it might be to throw our hands up in the air and walk away – it’s been done throughout history and is demonstrated repeatedly in the  Gospels. But when we walk away from God, He automatically becomes “smaller” as we leave Him behind. How then, can we follow what John the Baptist urged us – that “He must increase and I must decrease?” So really, the only option is to draw closer to Him. But this means embracing what hurts, accepting whatever stings and offering it up as penance, redemptive suffering, thanksgiving – take your pick.

But to stand still is not an option; the walk away would be foolhardy and to go grudgingly forward it just downright disrespectful and ungrateful. So I think we must go forward with as much love and willing consent to God’s Holy Will as possible – asking the Holy Spirit to change our hearts, lift our spirit and give us the strength to walk the Way of the Cross, which ultimately, is an unmerited gift we are offered by none other than Christ Himself.

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