I've been thinking a lot about bushes today.
Sometimes jobs don't come through, teams don't win, children don't sleep, and plans don't work. And sometimes we can take that in stride with an uplifted chin and a resolute faith. But sometimes our chin trembles and our fists are uplifted instead, shaking angrily and asking, "WHY??"
I've heard of a currant bush who had that question. There is a story you can find here about a man who was doing some major landscaping and found a currant bush that had been left unattended and wild. It had become more of a tree than a bush, and produced no fruit at all. Out came the clippers. Soon, it was small and bare and as the gardener stepped back he seemed to hear it whimper and ask why--why would you cut me when everything was going so well? Here was his answer:
"Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn't intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, 'Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener."
(Hugh B. Brown, Council of the Twelve Apostles, LDS Church)
I think we have all been currant bushes from time to time. I've had painful cuts in the past, but I have come to say thank you for each one of them. I have come to know and trust the Lord in a very deep way. It is not easy to be trimmed. It is not easy to be changed. But, I am learning that if I want to become the woman and disciple the Lord knows I can become, I must hand over the gardening tools. I must trust. I must trust that every trim is made with love. Every upheaval is done with purpose. Every change is for the better. Paul tells us, "In every thing give thanks." When he says every thing, I think he means just that. It gives me great comfort to know that the Gardener doing the pruning is motivated absolutely by love. My chest might tighten, my will might wobble, but I love the Lord and I trust in His love for me. Thank you Mr. Gardener, thank you.