This morning I decided that it was a good time, with the blue sky and sunshine, to prune a couple of my plants, especially the Rose of Sharon, which had gotten a little too tall and out of shape for her own good. With pruning shears in hand, I clipped the tip, and sometimes alot more, of every big and little branch, not worried at all that perhaps I was being too drastic. Must've learned that from my pruning-happy husband...although I've been known to fuss at him for pruning (what I thought was) way too much! Anyway...I know that, come Spring in 3 or 4 months, she will begin to reward me with all of her beauty! I'll try to remember to send you a photo of that later on.

 I don't know whether pruning is painful to a plant but I do know that it leaves it quite ugly...but only for a short time. Pruning in the form of discipline from God in our lives is definitely painful and, temporarily, is an ugly thing-from our point of view. But wait awhile and we will certainly see the beauty that results from the drastic measures He has to sometimes take. He cuts off branches and buds that are dead, useless, way too big for our own good and detrimental to our health, growth and development. But He does it in love, knowing the beauty that will unfold, a beauty that will bring glory to Him and make Him smile for joy. All because He loves us!

 "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Hebrews 12:11)

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