I Got “Carded!”

pruning saw“May I see you ID please?” asked the cashier at the local Lowes store. “The computer says I have to check to see if you are 18 or older.” I was being “carded!” I didn’t know whether to be complimented or concerned that she needed to see my driver’s license to validate that I was indeed 18 or older. Since I have never bought cigarettes, beer, alcohol or frequented a nightclub, this was my first experience at being carded.

It was just a simple stop at Lowes to purchase an eighteen-inch pruning saw in order to get our five peach and three apple trees ready for the summer fruit bearing season. It seems that there is some concern about individuals purchasing pruning saws that they might use them in dangerous ways. Never mind that in previous trips to Lowes I have purchased such power equipment as a garden tiller that could gouge your foot off, a walk-behind self-propelled lawn mower that could seriously slice off a hand before you even realized it, a 50” zero-turn 3-blade riding mower than could do a lot of damage to more than just grass, and other items that could be misused to cause bodily harm to unsuspecting victims, such as a hammer and several electrical cords. I was never “carded” for purchasing these other items. But a hand saw for pruning our fruit trees must be a dangerous item in the hands of an untrustworthy member of the general public!

Why prune fruit trees? If a fruit tree grows its limbs and branches in all directions, it tends to put more energy into growing branches, than it does in growing fruit. And more fruit, not branches, is the desired outcome. By constantly pruning the excess branches, the tree puts energy into producing the fruit we enjoy. In the hands of a careful gardener the tree can flourish and the harvest can increase.

When it comes to my life, the same holds true. Just as I desire my trees to produce a bountiful harvest, God desires to see the fruit of the Spirit increase and flourish in my life. Galatians 5:22, 23 lists the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, that He desires.

For that to happen, God also does some pruning. John 15:2 gives the words of Jesus describing how God prunes our lives in order that we might bear more fruit. In order for His righteousness to be brought forth in our life, and to actually bless and benefit us, God takes up the pruning saw to cut away some things that harm us and that ultimately grow in wrong directions, or that use our energy in destructive ways. And the best part is just whose hand holds the pruning saw. We can trust the hand of God to utilize the pruning in the right places and the right time. Evidently here in American right now, there must be some concern over who is using a pruning saw and how they are using it. But in the hands of God only beneficial work is done for us when it comes to pruning harmful things out of our life. We don’t have to “card” God to see if He is safe to handle our life.

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