I stood at the kitchen counter pushing carrots, a lime, some cilantro and a half a bunch of celery through my juicer.  Brett wandered into the kitchen, gave me a hug and a kiss and professed his undying love for me.  I offered Brett some celery juice since I love him and want him to stay healthy.  I knew he would refuse, but I like to tease him.  He laughed and replied, “No thanks, I’ll just grow into it sometime later.”

God loves me even more than I love Brett and He wants my spiritual life to stay healthy.  But, just like Brett, when God offers me something to improve my spiritual life that is difficult to swallow I often say, “No thanks, maybe some other time.”

December looms just a week away.  The heat of summer and the warmth of fall are fading into the past.  Several mornings over the last month frost has greeted Brett when he leaves for work.  I watched the weather forecast and covered my plants on the chilly nights.  But, a couple of days ago, the forecast predicted temperatures in the 20’s.  I decided the time had arrived to bring my plants inside if they were to survive the winter.  I took some plastic pots, scissors, and a small hand spade outside to prepare my plants to spend the winter indoors.  My plants still bloomed with a few flowers and I hated to cut them back.  But, I needed to cut them back to bring them indoors so I took my scissors and sheared them back to almost nothing. I picked up my little hand shovel and transplanted them into the plastic pots and brought them inside.  Next spring when the weather warms up I will plant them outdoors again and they can grow and bloom again.

Just like I covered my plants to protect them from the frost, God covers us with his love and protection.  But, just like I knew the temperatures would soon get too cold for my plants to survive the winter, God knows what our future holds.  He prepares us for the future by pruning away what we don’t need.  The pruning process requires us to grow in new ways and requires some real trust to believe that the pruning is for our best interest. But, since God knows what our future holds He also knows the best way to prepare us for it.  Without His care we are unable to survive the inevitable death that the freezing temperatures will bring. Even though God has pruned us with His pruning shears He brings us into the warmth of His care and will set us out to bloom with abandon when the time is right.  God’s undying love for us works for our eternal salvation.