Read Hebrews 12:5-11, John 15:1-2, and Revelation 3:19
The Golden Pathos are some of the easiest plants to take care of, so I heard. I was never born with a green thumb, so taking care of a plant, no matter how easy the maintenance, was never my strong suite. One night while teaching a Bible Study lesson about correction, the Lord gave me an example about a plant.
I had a plant that looked sadder than the eyes of a Basset Hound. The leaves were brown and dried out. The stems were yellow, and the dirt was dry. I didn’t water the plant properly, and when I would give it a little sun light, I would leave it outside too long, and the leaves would burn. I wasted time and money killing plants because I wouldn’t take the time to care for them properly.
Our lives are like a plant. We have to be tended to properly by receiving the proper amount of sunlight (Jesus), water (the word of God), and tilling of the dirt from time to time (repentance). Tending to a plant properly is a form of correction or chastening which is a process of tilling the ground. Our ground has to be tilled so the water can enter into our heart, instead of sitting on the topsoil, and drying up.
Once the ground of our heart is broken up, the Lord can drop seeds into us that will bring forth fruits of righteousness. One of the definitions for chasten is to purify. This means to clear from material defilement or imperfection. I learned in Agriculture, that in order for a plant to grow properly, it has to be pruned because the pruning process removes damaged or old foliage from a plant in order to strengthen it. Like a plant, we also have to allow the Lord to remove areas from our lives that have been damaged by sin, shame, hurt, embarrassment, abuse, neglect, rejection, and many other situations that has caused us to be wounded.
The Lord has to do away with the old things in our lives in order for us to receive the new wine. Now the pruning (chastening) seems like it take place in our lives when everything is working like a dried up axle (nothing is working for us at all), but I learned that the best time to prune a plant is in the winter season when the plant is dormant.
Dormant is a good stage of the plants life because it is not active but is able to become active. It seems like the Lord has forgotten you during this time, and everything has hit you, even the kitchen sink, but the Lord is preparing you for kingdom activity. The trials that help us to be pruned is the manure (fertilizer) that is being planted in your soil to help you grow.
The fertilizer is part of the repotting process. A plant has to be fertilized after pruning. Once the plant is fertilized, it has to be placed in a different position out of direct sunlight until it is able to recover from the pruning process. Once the plant has recovered from pruning and fertilization (and you identify this process by seeing more foliage beginning to grow in a rapid pace) you place the plant back in its original position.
Now the plant is strong enough to bring forth fruit. Each trial is strategically placed by our Heavenly Father because He desires to see much fruit in our lives. We cannot stay dry, dead, damaged, or diseased because plants that stay this way attract insects that will help destroy the plant even the more. Embrace the chastening of the Lord because, “no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11 Prayer: Lord, help me to receive your correction, so that you can bring forth more fruit in my life. I desire to abide in you because I am a branch that cannot bear fruit by my own strength. It may hurt my flesh to be chastened by you Lord, but I yield my spirit to the hand of my potter, and the Bishop of my soul. I receive your correction Lord for my life In Jesus Name, Amen.
attached link on the best time to prune a tree http://www.preservationtreecare.net/pdf/Winter%20is%20the%20best%20time%20of%20year%20to%20prune%20trees.pdf