Yesterday as I was working around the house, I was startled by the growl of a chainsaw. I looked out the front window and discovered a massive pruning party across the street. Two men with chainsaws taking down three 30-foot fir trees—first limbing them and then section by section, from the top, cutting rounds that fell with a thump to the ground. I took a video on my phone to send to my husband then went back every few minutes to check the progress.
They were making quick work of it, and soon all three trees were in a pile on the ground. As I took my final check out the window, I was amazed to see that we now had a mountain view! The pruning had opened up the sky, and not only could I see the Olympics, but the street and our yard were ten times brighter.
With COVID-19 on the loose right now, it occurred to me that this disease is bringing a kind of pruning. Social distancing is being mandated, places of business are being shut down, many are out of work, many are sick and some are dying. No one really knows how soon we will be able to “flatten the curve” to help contain the spread of the virus. It’s looking dismal.
But sometimes pruning opens our view of things and lets the light in so we can see more clearly. Could it be that God is using this pruning to give us a better view of Himself and to shine the light of His presence in and through us in ways that don’t happen unless extraneous things are cut away? Romans 8:28 says “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” James 1:2 tells us that “the testing of our faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I hope that we as believers will be faith-full and not fear-full as our Heavenly Father does His pruning work in our lives—whatever that means for each one of us. And that as we respond in faith, our light will shine into a dark world that is in desperate need of a Savior.
“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. But later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:10-11).
Contributed by Branette Richards