Fairly soon after my conversion experience as a eighteen year old I read a book by Colin Urquhart which was titled as is this reflection. It was a very instructive experience as I learned very early on that God was like an orchardist – he prunes his trees with the intention of maximizing the amount of fruit for harvest. Now I am a very logical sort of person, I like reading maths books for fun and relaxation, (logical – seems to me to be more like crazy, I hear you think) and so a God who wants to maximize the benefit he gets from his disciples is a sensible God.


With this in mind I was ready when he started to prune my life and cut out many things which really did not serve me in the call to holiness. It may have been a little or a lot painful depending upon the instance in question, but it was all worth it because I knew what the goal was and I trusted the Gardener. I cannot explain why I was convinced that the Gardener desired the best for me but I am pretty sure that the fact he sent his Son to die on the Cross for the forgiveness of my sins, had a least a little to do with it.


Learning to trust God when he prunes our lives is relatively easy if we have an open mind because having begun to see the fruits of the initial pruning, it becomes easier to submit to the subsequent ones. Its quite logical, you see! I also grew up watching my dad prune our fruit trees, and then mum took over after studying horticulture, and so I am aware of the various reasons why one branch or twig is chosen over another and that some times it is necessary to take out an entire major branch for the overall benefit of the harvest.


Jesus, I love the image of our Father in Heaven being a sort of Divine Gardener in the way he disciples us and leads us on the path of holiness. Help me to continue to submit to his pruning as long as I live.