Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.  (John 15:2)

When I prune a tree or bush I don’t care about, I quickly use the hedge clippers to cut it back without a second thought. When it comes to a special tree, my pruning is more strategic and careful.

A recent weekend found me hedging numerous bushes in my yard. When I planted them on the barren landscape, I didn’t envision the care necessary to keep them looking good: clipping, cutting, pruning, weeding, and mulching. (What was I thinking?) As I trimmed, God used my hot, humid yardwork as His canvas to sketch a small portrait of His deep, abiding, and sovereign love.

I have a bulky, prickly holly bush that came with the house when I bought it. I wouldn’t care if the holly died. I’d gladly replace it with something more appealing. So my pruning is quick and uncaring as I slice it into shape with my electric hedge trimmers.

I also have a prized Japanese maple in my back yard. It is the third one I have purposefully bought, planted, and nurtured. The previous two died so I take great care with this third tree. I followed instructions about specific ground conditions, fertilizer, and other tips so I would have a healthy, burgundy-leafed tree.

When it came time to prune the Japanese maple, I was hesitant to cut away the bottom branches…

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