God is the Gardener! 🌻 🍅

Pruning is necessary for tomato plants to produce the most fruit. We searched for the best way in the flood of information out there in the world about gardening! Some people have everything down to perfection but there is still always something new to learn. Our world is full of information right at our fingertips! So we picked a few and read about why it’s important to prune! Our plant looked great to me! I thought, “why would I want to cut away all the green!” It was lushly green with yellow flowers everywhere! I was sure it would produce a tone of tomatoes. I didn’t want to ruin it! In life, it usually seems good to be involved in so many good things, but becoming too busy can lead to a bunch of half-done jobs not done to your fullest abilities. Multitasking can become like sucker branches in our life. It’s doing more than God wants us to do each day by putting our energy in many different things. Then you will end up not give your attention to what God’s purpose is for you to do first. We need God who is the gardener of our life to prune us of things that we are unaware of that will lead us astray. These things cause us not to produce good fruit for His Kingdom!

Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches! We need to stay connected to Jesus! Pruning a tomato can reveal so much Spiritually. It is a very uncomfortable process because a lot of times we want to hold on to what God wants to take away from us. It’s interesting during our time of COVID, how much energy and time we took chasing what we used to do! Change can be difficult and letting go is hard. Especially, when you don’t want to let go of what He wants you to let go of! Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” However, what God has for you is not only better but good and it was planned long ago. It not about being busy doing a lot of good things. It about abiding in Jesus and trusting God! God is the gardener of my life who cares and loves not only me but all of you too! He loves every person so very much! His plans are good even when everything is a mess! God is the gardener! He is the one who cuts away and prunes our life so we produce more fruit for His Kingdom!

It’s amazing when you read something a hundred times and the Holy Spirit reveals something new to you! It might not be exactly when you read it? It might be when you’re pulling weeds, at work or doing something with your kids when something suddenly made sense about what you read earlier! As we prune our tomato plants, God reveals to me how important it is to allow Him to prune my life. All of us can easily get caught up doing everything that is put in our path. It’s like chasing shadows throughout the day! That is why God’s words are alive and active. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” We need to be grounded in truth by reading scripture and hiding His word in our heart so we don’t sway doing this and that! 1 John 5:19 (NIV) “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” I pray Father God, Is this from you? is this your will for me and my family today? I am your! I pray this right in the mist of unexpected events that show up in my day! When you trust in God, you can hold onto His understanding knowing that He works All things out for good for those who are called according to His purpose. This is why I pray for His will in unexpected opportunities because some are from him and some are not! I wholeheartedly search for His ways for my life, and the more I abide in him the more I see opportunities differently! God who knows All and is in all does not change like shadows! We need to stay connected to Jesus because He is the Vine and we are the branches. You are rooted in truth! We can’t do anything apart from him on our own. If we remain in Him he will remain in us. As we abide in truth that only comes from Jesus who is the way the truth and the life! (John 14:6) We glorify God when we do a few of the things to our fullest ability rather than many things half done. When we depend on God, we look for his ways and not our own!

The sucker branches on the tomato plant would be like things that hinder you in your day or Added activities or opportunities that keep you from God and family. They are beautiful, green and full of flowers but they produce no fruit! It took nutrients from the branches that did produce fruit. I found it interesting that the energy went into growing these sucker branches, instead of producing more fruit. But God never asked us to be busy! The kind of busy that sucks the life out of you and your family. Before you knew it, you had done so many good things but your family grew up! However, busy with responsibilities is different from added activities that keep you from God and your family. I learned when my older children were younger that becoming too busy can lead to a lot of half-done jobs not completely done to the fullest of your abilities! It’s like the flowers start to bud, but wither and die because all the energy is going into another beautiful green sucker branch! This didn’t produce fruit or bring God glory! You’re tired and miss the most important part of what God has in front of you, your family!

When I see this lush green tomato plant full of branches, I can see why it’s not producing fruit. I can see the energy being drained from the plant causing it not to grow to its fullest potential. Each sucker branch took valuable nutrients from the main part of the plant and fed the sucker branches first! In life, it might be that the least important tasks are done first, sucking the energy right out of you before the most important things are done. What are the sucker branches in your life that keep you from God and family? When you by putting God first and then your family. We will be filled with joy and peace as we depend on God to unfold our day. Unexpected this will come but we will have the strength from God to do it to our fullest ability. God says let your Yes be Yes and your No be No anything else comes from the evil one! It’s ok to say No! Matthew 5:37 (NIV) “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” His ways are above our ways and his thoughts are above ours! I pray Father God, Is this from you? is this your will for me and my family today? I am your! In Jesus name Amen! 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV) “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”

Psalm 143:1-12 (NIV) Lord, hear my prayer,
listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
I thirst for you like a parched land.[a]
7 Answer me quickly, Lord;
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies,Lord,
for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
in your righteousness,bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
destroy all my foes,
for I am your servant.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) 1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
John 15:1- 8 (NIV) I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

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