This week has been a stormy one. Three days in a row, powerful thunderstorms moved through our area. High winds caused trees to blow over and power to go out in many places. The debris in my yard is unlike anything we have experienced in the fifteen years we have lived here.

As I look out over my yard, I consider the work I need to do in order to restore order. I also consider how this mess corresponds to life.

Some of the debris in my yard is leaves that just couldn’t hang on when the winds came through.

Some of the debris in my yard is small branches that supported new leaves and growth this year but the wind was too much for them to stay attached.

Some of the debris in my yard is small branches that were knocked off their supporting limbs when a larger limb fell from higher up in the tree.

Some of the debris in my yard is large branches that grew weak over time. When all was calm, the branch could hang on, but when the storm moved through the lack of strength caused the limb to break off and fall to the ground.

Some of the debris in my yard is dead branches. Branches and limbs I watched and wondered how I could get them out of the trees. The wind came and assisted that process and now the branch that was not bearing leaves came crashing down.

Sometimes in life, I try to support more activity or responsibility than I can do well. I say yes too often, I agree to one more thing, I attempt to do too much. Then along comes some sort of storm and the weak, dead, peripheral things break off. Somehow they fall by the wayside or I wreck myself trying to keep them alive.

I truly am in awe of storms. I respect the wind and what it can do. And I am grateful for what it does to bring the dead and weak branches out of my trees. I believe that what is left will have more nutrients to truly prosper and produce beauty.

I am also grateful for the storms of life that expose the “too much” in my life. It is only when I allow the Holy Spirit to prune the excess from my life that I will produce the best fruit in greater measure.

1“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

John 15:1-4

The trees in my yard we intentionally pruned weathered the storm just fine. It is the ones we can’t prune that took a beating from the storm. It is when I submit to the Gardner and his pruning that I will be truly productive and bear more fruit.

Has your life become overcrowded and filled with too much? Maybe it’s time for a good pruning so that you can really be productive and fruitful! Do it now before a storm comes and helps. It’s less painful to submit voluntarily!

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