What It Takes To Bloom and Thrive

Apr 8, 2013 | Faith

IMAG0225-001Today I put my hands in the ground for the first time.  I pulled away dead stems, branches and leaves from plants and flowers that haven’t bloomed since Fall. Underneath the ugly brown foliage was fresh, green growth. The dead material needed to be removed so new sprouts could receive sun and air needed to thrive.

I took the garden hoe and plunged it into the soil around the plants. Weeds and unwanted grass was loosened and yanked out by their roots, causing dirt to fly in my eyes and hair.

It was glorious. 

As a new bride, I learned to garden when my mother-in-law showed up with a flat of flowers and a garden spade.  Kneeling on my knees next to her, she showed me how to dig a hole, pour in a little water, place a single flower into the mess, and cover it with soil.  The feel of dirt was like silk to my hands.  My love affair with flowers and gardening began.  For me, Spring begins the moment I handle dirt that’s been dormant.

Today Spring arrived.

Maintaining flowerbeds takes time and work.  But every spring, the cycle of life begins as the ground warms and tells nature “It’s time.”  Left alone, growth’ll happen but plants won’t reach their full potential.  Dead branches and leaves smother new growth.  Pruning and removal of the old is required so new beauty can grow.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (John 15:2, NIV)

What’s old in your life that’s hindering new beauty? What’s dead and stale that needs to be removed?

Like dead foliage, dead things in our life weighs heavy on our spirit, smothering what God is growing in us.  “Dead to sin, alive in Christ” (Romans 6:11, NIV) mirrors our spiritual condition in the garden of our Savior.  The power of Christ is constantly trying to grow things for His honor and glory but we stifle it by holding on to stagnant glory of the past or dead things we won’t release.….relationships, behavior, or attitudes that don’t bear fruit.

 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” Hebrews 12:1

Does your garden need cleaned out?

There are things I’ve allowed God to weed-out in my life.  Very personal things only He knows about.  Things so damaging that if I allowed them to grow, life would’ve had a different outcome.

“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15 NIV

Today I pulled out weeds, grass and other plants that were growing where they shouldn’t.  If I would’ve left them alone,  the undesirable growth would eventually take over. Fewer beautiful things would grow. More unwanted things would take root making it harder and harder for new growth to thrive.My favorite companion.

After seasons of dormancy, God naturally allows good things to take root and grow our lives. But it’s up to us whether we hold onto suffocating or dead things in our life. God desires to weed out the stagnant and make us alive in Him, growing new, good things for His honor and glory.

Where are you in this process?  Are you fighting the Gardener?  Are you allowing unfruitful debris to be ripped from you so new growth can happen?  Do you trust Him to remove things growing in your life that are taking over potential beauty?

This week, my family received a grace-gift that was a surprise, honor, and great blessing.  I know in my heart if I wouldn’t have allowed God to remove dead debris a few years ago, the present outcome would be different.  I’m honest with you.  As I tediously removed deeply rooted weeds and thorns today, I was reminded of deeply rooted things God has removed from my life.

I’m still learning to let Him pull, yank and remove.  Seeing the beauty He grows from pruning is worth the pain and process.  Will you join me today in allowing Him to clean out the most intimate parts of your life?

How have you allowed Him to prune you already?  What new growth have you seen in your life?  We’d love to hear your story.


Because He desires beautiful things in you.


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  1. Janette

    Love, love this…and tomorrow I will be cleaning out my garden..so relate to this on all levels…as God is weeding, pruning..etc. in my life.

  2. Ingrid Lochamire

    So timely for me, Brenda, as I’ve had to conquer a few weedy areas of my own life recently. I am SO EXCITED to see what my Lord choose to allow to bloom in the places where I’ve done the hard work. Thank you for sharing your gifts of insight and writing.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Ingrid, I’m excited to see what God will grow in your life, too! You’ve done the work faithful friend!

  3. Velda Miller

    I same as you, LOVE to work in my Flower Beds … I Love to Plant and then watch it grow. But I really, really get tired of the Overbearing WEEDS every year that I fight all Summer long … I have always said, “I feel closer to Jesus when I have my hands in the dirt. I have had many, many one on one’s with God when I am putzing in my beds. One particular day … I wasn’t in the best of moods and pulling WEEDS again … complaining/grumbling on high to God about being ‘Sick and Tired’ of these WEEDS!!!! Why do they have to keep Growing on their own and making a MESS of my Flower Beds!?!?!

    All of a sudden it ‘Hit me like a Ton of Bricks’ … these WEEDS in my Flower Beds are very similar to the Weeds/Sins in my life. And God patiently keeps pulling them so that, like you said, there is room for ‘New Growth’. Now, whenever I am ‘Weeding’ I do a mental inventory of what needs to be ‘Weeded’ in my Soul.

    • Brenda L. Yoder

      Velda, thank you so much for writing this! God must speak to us in similar ways. I’m thankful he gives us these images and lessons in our daily lives. That’s what makes us Him so personal!

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