I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning up my rose garden. I pruned, raked out the dead leaves from last fall, pulled new spring weeds and tilled the packed down soil – opening it up to receive the sunshine and moisture needed to make sure I get beautiful blooms. My hands worked the earth but my mind was on Easter week and getting ready to celebrate the resurrection.
I realize my bushes would have leafed out and bloomed without the pruning. But to get full and abundant production it’s always better to cut out the dead wood, cut back the spindly spring growth, and let the bush pour all of its energy into new growth. My bushes could have survived among the weeds but again, if I want all 100% of the nutrients I provide throughout the growing season to benefit the roses, I need to get rid of the things that might suck some of that away. And while loosening the soil might not be absolutely essential, scraping away the packed earth on top just makes it so much easier for the water to reach the roots of my roses.
The parallel was obvious. I want to stand at the foot of the cross in full bloom next Sunday. I want my heart open to the amazing message of the resurrection. I want everything Christ has for me to go to the very root of my being and nurture growth. I want the dry covering of dead left by chill winds and winter storms to be cleared away. I realize to accomplish this I have some forgiving to do, some outreach to happen, some ingesting of God’s word to take place, and some letting go of old wounds to occur.
My commitment for the next seven days:
- Wash my soul while getting my knees dirty in a renewed emphasis on prayer.
- Make a serious effort to experience in a small way what Christ felt on the cross when He generously forgave those who had hurt Him.
- Snip back the spindly growth of my last few study sessions, return to them and dig deeper for those pockets of “Miracle Grow” found only when you put everything you have into what you are trying to uncover.
- Trust God to resurrect in me that beautiful bloom of my first love just in time for Easter Sunday.
“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.”