Friday, April 5, 2013

My Poor Little Tree

Ahhh Spring!  Woo hoo!

We pruned a tree the other night.  We pruned a weeping cherry tree.  That sounds nice, doesn't it?  After all, pruning is necessary to direct all the nutrients to the right places.  And it's necessary to keep the tree looking the way it's meant to look; producing what it's meant to produce.  That is nice.

But our tree is nine years old, and this was the first time we had pruned it.  The FIRST TIME!  Because we didn't prune it from the time it was young, it was drastic!  But I was determined to make our tree into the beautiful, pink flowering tree that it was purposed to be.  The straight, green upward-shooting branches were choking out the beautiful flowering branches!  This could not be!

(I just didn't know better when we first got the tree.  I did no research and apparently was not told--or more likely--didn't listen very well.)

So, we got out the chainsaw.  That's right, the chainsaw.  Some of the offending branches were bigger around than my arm.  Then we severed two, then three, four, five (maybe even six) branches.  When we stepped back to survey the operation, there was but a lone branch emerging upwards from the top of the tree trunk.  But at least there were weeping, flowering branches coming off of it!

There is a point to this story.  :)  I think pruning trees is kind of like raising children.  My tree would be a lot healthier (and a heck of a lot prettier) if I had pruned those unwanted branches early on.  So it is with my children.  As parents, isn't it vital that we follow God's instructions for us and raise our little ones in the ways of Truth from the earliest point in their lives possible?  As we pray for them, discipline them and teach them the ways of the Lord, it is all part of "pruning" or shaping them.  Of course, the Holy Spirit is a Master pruner, cutting away things in our lives that are hindrances to growth in Christ.  He will do the same for our children, and He will guide us as we shape them in practical ways such as discipline and instruction.

Because of our negligence, I actually don't know if our tree will recover.  I guess there is a chance that it may even die.  But thankfully, if it dies, it will not be difficult to replace.  Not so with my kids--I have one chance with them.  And I love them too much not to do everything I can to help them understand the ways of the God very early in their lives.  I can't afford to wait like I did with my tree.  They are irreplaceable!

Proverbs 13:24
He who withholds correction hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.