Wednesday, April 11, 2012

lessons from a raspberry bush

Finally a beautiful spring day, and I joyfully grabbed work clothes, pruning shears, and gardening gloves. 

Every few years the oldest raspberry shoots die and have to be cut out.  It’s not difficult to tell the old ones from the new.  The old are dry and brittle, dark and dying in color.  The outside is rough and peeling off.  The new shoots are smooth, green, pliable, and straight. 

Looking at these bushes I see myself. 

Inside my soul are two different people standing right next to each other.  The old selfishness up close to the new servanthood.  The old bitterness just an inch away from the new grace.  The old stiffness and unwillingness to obey standing side-by-side with the new, soft heart that wants to bend to God’s will.

My friend talked about her raspberries.  The bushes didn’t put out any fruit last year.  We don’t know what’s wrong with them. 

So I mentioned pruning, and she didn’t know it was necessary.  I told her that old stuff has to be cut out for the bushes to produce well. 

Jesus says, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.”  (Matthew 5:30 NIV)

Today my back hurts. It’s hard work cutting away those dead shoots. Some of them are really thick, and my hand and forearm ache from working the shears. My legs hurt from squatting near the ground for so long. 

Hard work.

You don’t get a freezer full of fruit if you’re not willing to take a sharp edge to the old, dead stuff.  

What old thoughts and habits need to be cut and tossed out from your life?

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I'll be pruning some bad habits and my raspberry bushes today!!