Cutting vs. Growing

Yesterday I pondered the word cutting.

I pulled out the garden shears, the big ones, and I cut the palm tree bushes that surround our pool.  They grow big, and they push on the screen, weigh heavy over our children’s heads, but they do look beautiful…green.  I cut them.  There is something about cutting that feels good.  It feels good to see change…

Cutting your hair.

Cutting your nails.

Cutting up vegetables, fruit, meat, and bread.

My husband even likes cutting…the grass.

He like making the rows, making our yard look nice, for us suburban people I think it’s the joy of being messy…in the dirt, working hard with our hands.  When I cut the bushes yesterday out back, my hands wanted to cut more things…so my son and I went out front to cut those bushes at the front and sides of our house.

Even our three year old son wanted to cut.  He brought out his little red kid scissors to give the palms and small bushes a trim.  We like to cut!

However, I have been praying for a sweet young woman who is in pain emotional and physical.  She is cutting…literally her skin.  Until yesterday, I did not understand.  Why?  Why would you do that?  A beautiful young woman…cut.  Now, through God, through looking for grace yesterday…I realized.  We want change.  I have been praying for this young woman because I do know the pain of depression, anxiety, and perfectionism.  However, I also know that although we seek to take action, to cut…he is in the business of new growth.

When I cut those bushes yesterday, I controlled that.  However, God is so much greater…he will grow those bushes back abundantly.  His power is amazing, his love is so great.  He creates new life in us through Christ.  I cannot control that.  He is just there.  Like the grass, the bushes, the children before my eyes that grow!  That. Is. Amazing.  He. Is. Amazing.

We really aren’t in charge of the cutting.  He is…John 15:2

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Jesus was cut.  Sacrifices within the Bible were cut.  But it wasn’t the cutting that was the most significant thing…it was the end result.  Today’s Devotion one thousand gifts for me #54 amaryllis grace from Ann Voskamp… 
“Fully live!  Live fully!”….
“Joy is always worth the wait, and fully living always worth the believing.  The pursuit!”
Just as Ann waited for the resurrection bloom, an amaryllis…a sweet final culmination to her counting of 1000 gifts…a gift of life given to her by her mother in law.  Her mother in law (like my own mother in law) died of cancer.  Those who have died still speak to us.  Jesus still speaks.  I pray that as we strive, seek to be perfect, or make efforts to shape the world around us, or change the people around us to be perfect.  We need to relax, pray, and trust God to do the changing.  Accept the imperfections.
Count the blessings, and enjoy the growth.  Soaking in His Word, I believe in His Powerful Love as a Healer.  I pray for those that do not know Him yet or are scared He is not there in the pain or storms of life.  He is there.  He is all around us…growing things…growing people.  

Above are two photographs from yesterday.  I cut three piles of branches.  I decided to stop at seven branches per bush.  It seemed perfect.  A good time to rest and play with our son.

The knit blanket pile is one my sweet blessings inherited from my mother in law.  She died in 2006 of cancer.  But, before she died her sweet hands diligently knit together blankets for our soon to be born son…her first grandson.  Our son is coming close to his seventh birthday, but he still loves to snuggle in his blankies.  Don’t we all love to snuggle in the comfort of love?  I hear her speak through those blankets.  She was a woman of great love.

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