Monday, March 7, 2016

Pruning the Dead Branches

Thought about and searched for this tonight ...

Spurgeon's Morning and Evening: Morning for April 29th
"Thou art my hope in the day of evil." --Jeremiah 17:17 
The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God's Word, "Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;" and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be "As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day," yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer's sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the "green pastures" by the side of the "still waters," but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, "Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen." Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God's saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of His children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God's full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to prune away the dead branches of self-reliance, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope. [emphasis mine]
 Tonight I am giving thanks for pruning.  It's never fun.  It's never easy.  But looking back and seeing some of the things that have been dropped (or ripped away?) from our homeschool as of late, and how much healthier we are, how much more good fruit is coming from those few things we are left to focus on - even from the things in which I play no direct part except observation and delight - I am in awe at the beauty and sovereignty of my God.  Would I ever have made these choices and changes if we weren't under "duress"?  I don't know.  But I see where we are now and I am glad.  I am at peace.  At least tonight.  And so, tonight, I give thanks.

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