We are clearly not farmers.
We tried. We bought a peach tree, not for abundant August peaches, but for privacy. We come from the botanical school of “plant a tree and sit back.”
That tree, for some reason, loves the Georgia red clay. She has flourished. She is after all a peach tree. And still I find myself saying, “Who knew?” (The peach on the state license plates wasn’t enough of a clue.)
Seeing the peach blossoms THRILLED us. She was no longer a “privacy tree,” she was OUR pride and joy! We did it! I was beyond the moon to know we’d have fresh peaches! Fresh, juicy peaches. I envisioned myself as the “Forest Gump of peaches; peach pie, peach smoothies, peach cobbler, peach preserves….”
Will this gal ever learn that pride comes before the fall? Apparently not yet.
The fall came one Sunday after church service. We spoke to a veteran gardener and botanist about our certain abundant harvest. He went on inquire, “Just how many peaches do you have on that tree of yours?”
Puffed up, I responded, “Hundreds!”
He cocked his head and proceeded to tell me that unless you “prune” the tree to approximately 6 peaches per branch, you won’t yield a productive harvest. That sounded like contradiction to this novice peach grower’s ears. The more the merrier right?
Not so fast sister.
With that one conversation all my summertime farmer’s market stand dreams died. You see our tree nets 20 something per branch. It’s late July and her branches touch the ground, and many have broken off; weary of the weight of the fruit her limbs bear. A passing torrential rainstorm weakens her branches near the trunk and they crack. Not pruning her has destroyed her and her harvest. Sure, we’ll salvage a few glorified golf ball sized peaches, but abundance? Nowhere near it.
God ever speak to you in peaches? He has piped up loud and clear to this Georgia gal.
Not allowing Him to prune me will destroy me as well.
Pruning isn’t pretty.
Our tree looked glorious with her blossoms blooming, but those very blossoms left unpruned, became her demise. Pruning is purifying. Pruning is necessary. Pruning lifts the weight that becomes unbearable. I pray that I have a heart willing to be pruned by the vine-dresser.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” John 15: 1-2
Seriously, God will pipe up in the most unexpected places and if you’re not paying attention, He just might let a branch or two fall on your head.
In what ways do you need pruning this summer?
Do you feel like you have been pruned and are bearing fruit?