This past year has been a year like no other for me personally. My kids (some of them) have moved away, there have been changes in our ministry due to the current economic crisis, we moved into a smaller house, and on and on it goes. All of these changes have brought my mind to think of one word: purging.
Purging feels like punishment - all the things that you know and are attached to are suddenly cut away - and that hurts severely. I have never been so "purged" - and if we're not careful we can get discouraged...really discouraged. Thankfully God explains purging in His Word. As I was pondering that fact I found myself amazed once again at God's grace, wisdom, and mercy.
I was sitting on my bed praying and considering all the purging and wondering what happens next; what are you supposed to do after the purging? I then realized that I could study facts about pruning and purging and see where I could apply it to my life when the Lord brought the following truths to light.
1. God used the familiar term "purging" so that I could look it up and study it. You know like science, isn't that what God was teaching when He said to "go to the ant and consider her way?" He wants us to learn from the nature He created.
2. In all cases, pruning or purging - it is not for punishment, but for future and more abundant growth. Now that was encouraging - and that was when I had a "bapticostal" fit. I started singing the song, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" which has the line in it that says, "morning by morning, new mercies I see." I saw new mercies that morning and I was blessed.
When I looked online and studied out pruning I found some interesting facts about why trees should be pruned. Here is what I found:
1. The primary reason for pruning is so that the tree will develop a strong structure and desirable form. While leaves may look pretty, too much foliage creates a better atmosphere for disease, and more cost in pruning later. Plus the whole point of the tree is not for the leaves - it is to produce fruit.
2. While "pruning" should not be viewed as punishment, it is used to correct or maintain tree structure. If there is a broken or diseased limb, it should be removed so that it will not hinder growth of fruit.
4. Pruning allows the tree to be more exposed to light which is necessary for growth. The fruit that grows from the area of the tree that is most exposed to the light is the fruit that is the best colored, earliest ripening, and largest.
Are you going through a period of purging in your life? It is hard having things cut away, but remember that the purging or pruning is being used to develop you into a strong and desirable fruit-bearing Christian. No one likes having things cut away; cuts create wounds that are painful, but just as with the tree, too many leaves cause distraction from producing fruit. Too many leaves may also cause excessive shading- and remember we need the Light. Jesus said, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
What felt like punishment suddenly became encouragement - a new mercy I found that morning in realizing that God created the world, and the way it works, in such a way that we can watch and understand the changes that befall us. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20
Here are the words to the second verse of the song, "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Have a wonderful day ladies, I have prayed for you today.