When we moved into our house, there was a beautiful rose bush beside the front door. I don’t know the first thing about roses, but I know they’re pretty. Well, I didn’t touch that thing for 3.5 years. It got bigger, and it continued to produce gorgeous pink roses. However, over that time it became unruly and grew into the path of the door. It actually became dangerous with the kids, because the thorns were so close to the entrance.

So, this past winter I decided to prune it. I trimmed and cut, till my 5 year old said fretfully, “I think you cut too much!” I explained that it would grow back even more beautiful, we just had to wait and see.

I sit here in front of that bush as I write this. Spring has sprung and our sad little leafless bush has leafed into a lush plant filled with tiny rosebuds waiting to open and grace us with its beauty once again. I reminded my son of his needless worry, while I pointed out all the new growth waiting to explode.

How much our lives are like that rosebush. So many think that when hardships come, it means we’re being punished: Some unseen God messes with us unfairly and beyond our control. Yet, if God were to leave us alone, as I did that rosebush, we become unruly and a thorny, even dangerous, mess.

It’s in the pruning process a big God sees and knows what His work will produce. We just have to trust Him to do the job His way and then wait and see the beautiful end product.

I’m sure there are those who wonder how we can praise God in the midst of such trials. Why are we not blaming Him instead? I just know, He’s a big God and He’s not leaving us alone. He’s not leaving my kids alone. He’s got plans. And whether I can see those plans or not, I can see Him working. And I have learned in past pruning processes, when God works, the end product is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!

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