I was in the back yard assessing—as gardeners will—what worked and what didn’t. The mantra of a gardener is, as we all know, “next year…” So it was with this in mind that I cast my eyes around the yard to determine what had to be done differently next year. A small potted geranium caught my eye. I had bought it because I loved the color and the shape of the flowers and the leaves. I hadn’t any planter to put it in, so I just put it in a pot thinking I’ll let it grow and it can become a mother plant—to take cuttings and then next year I’ll put them in all my container planting.
On surveying the plant, it seemed to me that it had not grown a single new leaf all summer. It had just stayed the same size. I wondered at this until it occurred to me that it had never stopped flowering all summer either. It had always had a half dozen or so of those retina-burning scarlet flower clusters even though I had neglected it all summer.
Well and good, I thought, but I had wanted the plant to become robust and large enough to take cuttings and it was still as small as it ever was in it’s little four inch pot. I determined right then that this winter, I would take it in, and rip off every blossom….and cut off every new flower bud….to force the plant to use it’s life to not just produce a few beautiful flowers, but to become large and robust enough to use to propagate more of it’s kind. I determined to wound it—and then to nurture and fertilize it over the winter season.
Isn’t this what Father sometimes does with us? It is not that our flowers don’t please Him, or that He wants to destroy us…though it may feel that way. Possibly there comes a season when He has to take the drastic measure of ripping off all that we cherish and find our meaning and value in—in order that He can make us fit for a higher and better or bigger purpose.