If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love my Knockout roses. I love them so much that I hate to take the pruning scissors to them. In fact, a few years back, I refused to cut them, even when the blooms had dried up. You know what happened? They grew spindly and didn't continue to bloom that year. Then, I learned that when the blooms dry up, it's time to trim them back so that they can bloom again. And, again. And, again. I know this is the case, but it still hurts me to cut back these blooms!
While God as gardener of our souls is not a new metaphor, my pruning session was a reminder to me of how God works on us. When necessary, He prunes us. As master gardener, He knows how to grow us into the most beautiful versions of ourselves. Sometimes, He may have to cut parts off. Other times he may have to add things that he knows will benefit us but that seem stinky to us (like the rabbit poo I dumped all around the roses after their trim today:). But, He is a careful and loving gardener and loves us far more than I love my roses. It may pain Him to make the cuts, but He knows the end result, a more beautiful bloom, for His glory.