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Pruned by God

24 April 2024

By Anne Bonnefin, communications coordinator, Australia Mission Centre

And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5b

A tree in my back garden was “not well” according to the horticulturalist who visited me several months ago. But I thought it was a spectacular tree! It had glossy leaves and sometimes flowers.

It carried the fancy name of a port wine magnolia, though if you know this species, you will know you have to look hard to see the purple flowers. The harsh prognosis from the gardener: “It has scale and needs to be severely pruned before I can do anything about it.”

I was horrified! First, because it looked fine to me, and second, because a severe prune would ruin my small garden where the tree was the standout hero.

What should I do? Listen to the expert or ignore the problem? With the assurance that the tree would grow back, I listened to the professional’s advice. For months now it has been a trunk in the ground with a few sticks limply attached. I have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting! And nothing!

One day I thought, “I just have to trust.” I gave it some fertilizer as the gardener had said. I watered it with care, and gradually the tree is starting to come back to life. The first signs were hundreds of purple flowers. On the thick, woody stems—here, there, and everywhere—I now see little green shoots, no bigger than the top of a toothpick.

This tree makes me think about life and the cycles of life. I am still learning how God is always whispering to me to pay attention, right where I am. In Jeremiah 29:13 we read, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” I think about what it means for me to seek God with all my love and devotion in the midst of where I am and just as I am. I think I will find connection and learn to see in the deep alignment of my body, heart, mind, and spirit to God. It will happen in the present moment. It will happen whether I am joyful, I’ve been pruned to the core by grief or disappointment, or somewhere between.

Prayer Phrase

“…my God turns my darkness into light” (Psalm 18:28).

Spiritual Practice


Close your eyes and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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