Flowers fading in fall are teachers of rest. Rest is productive when it is a fragrant offering of trust to our Creator, who says, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) When we rest in him, we answer, "I will."
As we enter into winter, we gardeners examine leaf-abandoned branches and prune out anything wayward or unproductive. The hard prune we have all experienced this year feels like one long winter, doesn't it? How long will our Great Gardener continue to prune, we wonder? How much more can we take?
It depends on what our hope is in. If it is in Jesus and God's sovereign plan, we can endure much. As much as necessary to reap the harvest he has in mind:
"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2
And so, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2
Lord, thank for giving us the Sabbath to renew our strength. Teach us how to take the Sabbath mentality into this season of lockdown and quarantine. We lay down our nervous toiling before you and abide in your perfect will. We praise you for all that you are up to, even when we can't see it. Thank you for the hope of spring and the finished work of the cross on our behalf. What a beautiful grace it is. Amen.