New Azalea shoots

Growth Habits

Spring really is right around the corner, and my pruning shears can’t wait to get to work!

I know I’ve told you that I love to weed. One of my other favorite outdoor activities is pruning. Weird, I know. But I’ve got to wait until after the flowers have had their time in the sun . . .

I have to walk right by this azalea bush on my way into the house every day. Its growth habit caught my eye and made me think of a life truth to share with you!

The first image shows two shoots coming off a branch split. The second shows that the “arms” of the branch don’t all grow at the same speed. There are two super long ones, and three shorter ones.

Here’s another example from the same bush:

The first picture shows two long branches (top and bottom), and the second picture zooms in on the rest of them–short again!

What do azaleas and life have in common?

Just as the azalea sends out branches at different speeds, so it is in our spiritual walk. We don’t grow in all areas of spiritual maturity at the same rate, nor at the same time.

As we pursue God through spending time in his presence, different areas of our lives come into focus. In one season we may be find ourselves keenly aware of the needs of those around us as well as how we can personally meet those needs.

In another season we may be led into a time of careful stewardship of the resources God has entrusted to us.

In yet another, we may be drawn into a time of concentrated fellowship with our heavenly Father and his Spirit, letting him fill our spiritual reservoir through fervent Bible study, prayer, fasting, reflection, etc.

What season are you in today?

I want to tell you that it’s okay for you to be growing in only one or two areas right now, as long as you’re growing! God is our Master Gardener, and He knows the fruit that will come of your obedience in whatever season you find yourself.

Jesus said,

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

John 15:1-8 NLT

I pray you will always remain (abide, stay) in Christ, leading to much fruit that glorifies God!

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