A parable: In my small fenced back yard there are two mugo pines about 6 feet tall. When I moved in the landscapers hired by the landlord pruned both trees with a chainsaw (seriously, not pruning shears), however, the tree to the left was about 12 inches tall than the one to the right. I called the landlord and suggested the landscaper “even up” the trees as they are designed to be miniature trees, about 24-30 inches tall. The phone call produced no response. The second week of January, the ice, snow, wind and freezing rain arrived…the perfect winter storm. The tree to the right which was pruned completely last June, about 10-12” below the top of the fence line, withstood the storm. The tree to the left, is now crumpled on the ground by the weight of the ice and snow. The truth is 10-12 inches is a very small measure. However, when GOD is actively pruning in our lives and we trust HIM, then we will survive the storms, because HE has effectively removed the “dead weight” – the branches that cannot carry the weight of the storm, the branches that will not survive the storm.
Only GOD truly knows what needs to be pruned in our lives as HE is the quintessential master gardener. We must implicitly trust HIM before the storm arrives. It is an intentional act to receive HIS greater love especially when we do not understand it. It is HE who prepares the way, determines the path, and sets the parameters.