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The Gardner

May 30, 2002

"And every branch that bringeth forth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:2)

Dr. Vincent relates an incident while viewing the luscious clusters of grapes hanging on the walls inside a great hothouse. The owner said, "When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines unless he could cut them clear down to the stalk! And he did so, until there was seemingly nothing left! There were no grapes for two years, but this is the result!

God has challenging futures for us, and will go miracle-lengths to ge us to pay attention.

The pruning knife is clasped by the hand of love divine. At the most tender touch it cuts and breaks. Lives which have borne some some fruit will now bear "much fruit." Those God wants to use to any significant degree will have to be pruned. Sorrow came more to Joseph than to his brethren, and the result was a great blessing to many nations. The Holy Spirit reported of him as a "fruitful a well: whose brances run over the wall" (Gen. 49:22). Human history projects the shadows of suffering in the great paintings, the great philosophies, and the great civilizations. They all have come into the light out of the shadows of torment.

What prodigal waste it appears to be, to see scattered on the floor the bright green leaves and the bare stems bleeding in a hundred places, from the sharp steel, but with a tried and trusted husbandman, there is not a random stroke in it all, nothing cut away which it would not have been lost to keep and gain to lose. -Amy Carmichael

The Gardner is never so close as when He is pruning!