John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
When we moved into this place five months ago, the bushes in front looked terrible. The yard hadn’t been cared for in so long that the bushes had grown into the trees, pulling down the branches, creating a thick wall of dry, dusty and intertwined shrubbery and blocking out the sunlight. Almost everything in the front yard was dead from lack of sun and sometimes even rain.
A couple of months ago, we inquired as to how much it would cost to cut all that dirty mess down so that we and the yard could receive a little sunlight. We found a reasonable price and the next morning two men came to start the job. About half way through the day, we were starting to feel for those guys as by this point all of us were realizing that they had terribly underestimated the work it would take to tear this thing down. What was supposedly only going to take a couple of hours, took all day long. From morning till dark, they hacked at that wall, and still had to return the next day to collect all the branches and leaves as it had already become too dark.
When the sun came up that next morning we felt it, and we stepped outside to see results. It looked, well…. horrible! The bushes and trees looked even more homely and uninviting than before. And now that the light shined brightly into our yard, the dryness and ugliness of everything showed in a way we hadn’t seen it before! We were so disappointed.
But only two months later, the bushes, the grass, the flowers, everything is nice and green and beautiful!
Here’s what we learned. In order for the sun to come in, the dross has to be cut down. At first, a lot of ugly things will be exposed. But as the sun shines down with all its nutrients and the rain moistens and washes away what was once all dry and dirty, little sprouts of fresh life begin to sprout and with time, before you know it, everything becomes new and any evidence of the old disappears.
Hmmmm. So it is with our hardened and dry hearts. We need to clear away the dross and let the Son come in! We needn’t be discouraged when we see the results at first — just keep allowing His nutrients to nourish us and His rain to wash us. Soon you and all our neighbors will see a beautiful thing grow and they will probably want to know how they too can get their hearts looking so nice!