My “happy place” is my garden. I’m not a great gardener, not even a good one, but I do love to just putter around and pull out weeds, pick flowers and trim things back. In fact, I’m quite sure that my pruning probably takes place at the wrong time of year, but being outside is just such a blessing for me.

I’m never overrun with offers from others to help me in the garden so it is often just me and my beautiful old dog, Cass. This peaceful place just clears the mind and allows God to speak to me and teach me wonderful lessons from nature – very much my parables!

About this time last year, I was wrestling with my ‘yes’ to take some time out and go to Cambodia. It was in my garden on a sunny afternoon as I was pruning the grapevines that God spoke to me about the importance of allowing my life to be pruned by the master vinedresser. How that even luscious healthy branches on the vine needed to be cut off to allow for better and more fruitful growth in the coming seasons.

From my personal perspective, I was concerned about what I was giving up to say yes to God for this short season. I needed to see the bigger picture and put my petty, self-centered concerns aside. It then became so easy to say yes, and all the plans for our five months in Cambodia just fell into place. It was an amazing time of growth for us.

Fast forward one year and we have spent our time in Cambodia and settled back into our Australian lives, back in our house and I continue to putter in my garden. The grapevine that I butchered (pruned!) just a year ago was now almost overgrown – the vines were long, really long and had grown way over the trellis and all over the ground. As I lifted them up I was amazed! The fruit was really heavy on the branches and everywhere! A bountiful crop. The bunches of grapes were enormous and thick on the branches. What had seemed brutal in one season of the grapevines life had now paid incredible dividends in the next season.

God then reminded me how being obedient to his calling, offering up a willing ‘yes’, and allowing the master vinedresser to shape my future growth had now brought me to the next season of my life. What seemed quite difficult just a year ago had now brought me to a season of wonderful fruitfulness in Him. What a blessing to be reminded that our growth and fruitfulness is assured when we remain abiding in the vine. What a blessing to be reminded that Jesus is our all in all, without Him we can do nothing.

Written by:  Ruth Bryan
Published on 2/27/18