My daughter dropped by for a quick visit. We both love and admire our gardens. She talked for a moment about how severely she had pruned back a certain plant and how it was producing many more flowers. I agreed with her, but at the same time I took a really good look at her. She looked drawn and tired out. At that very moment she said, "Mom, I have to get going; I have to pick up Jessica and have a million things to do."

This is the sound of today, in which most moms and dads are in a frantic rush to go here and there, with soccer, hockey practice, etc., taking the kids to all the events and even trying to take in some of these events with them. The youth and the parents of today reflect the rush of our world.

Sometimes I think we would love to yell, "Stop!"

In the case of our daughter she can't stop. She is caught up in a continual schedule with the hospital, either for Jessica with her treatments or taking the other two girls for classes that they are attending for siblings of cancer patients. I can see the stress of a continual and what seems an endless struggle.

I was thinking of how we are sometimes severely pruned but would understand if we could only look ahead to the time God has chosen for us. The severity of the pruning will produce more and greater fruit. For it is in pruning out the branches in our lives that are producing nothing that we gain the ability to grow in Christ and one day produce for Him.

I am not sure of my daughter's thoughts at this very moment in life, but I know God has a plan, both for her and for all of us.

John 15:5,8 – I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (NASB)

In the vineyard of life we can be severely pruned and, at the time, see no reason for it. In God's economy He has a plan for us. After the pruning, the results will be made known to us, and in God's timing we will bring forth much fruit for Him.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, we come to You in prayer, seeking wisdom to see the reason You prune our lives so severely. May we in faith know it is for our good, that one day we will bear more and greater fruit in Your service. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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