October 31

Written by Bill Grandi on October 31st, 2023

I’m a little late posting this morning. I took Dave, my friend from Arizona who spent the weekend with us, to the airport. I had him there at 6:15.  Turns out that was plenty of time. He received word he was upgraded to First Class which was great. Then he got word that the plane would not start.  In my book…not so great. I might even lobby for another plane. It was cold here this morning. 25 degrees and frost. Let’s hope it just needed thawed out. Still…

Okay now to today’s devotion: We live in an instant society. Instant potatoes (are they really?). Microwave pizza (I prefer the real kind thank you very much). Instant oatmeal (sure beats waiting and stirring). Instant coffee (people tell me that its nasty. I wouldn’t know since I don’t drink coffee of any kind of any taste at any time). Instant milk (seriously mom? You thought I wouldn’t notice?) We even have 10 minute oil changes (when I used to do my own it took me that long to assemble all the necessities). Anyway, you get my point.

Because we live in an instant society, it has tragically carried over into the church. Instant church growth (people miraculously appear if you follow this formula). Instant disciple (You mean I have to study?). And we, of course, want an instant trouble-free life. The late David Powlison wrote the following:

I’ll often say to someone ‘The Vinedresser uses pruning sheers, not a chainsaw. He’s not going to work on everything all at once. He’s not going to teach you everything about Himself. but something about who He is and what He says to you can make a decisive difference in some challenge you are facing right now.’  (Oct.14-p.288-“Take Heart”)

Do you see that first sentence? “He uses pruning sheers, not a chainsaw.” Little by little God is going to work on His follower. The chainsaw just pictures to me a “hack job,” a quick devastation. But He uses pruning sheers-a slow, precise process-to shape us the way He wants.

Don’t rush your growth. Allow God to do things nice and easy, at His pace. Allow His careful pruning to happen.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. God does work within us, but He does so carefully and with grace, Bill. No hack jobs for Him! He loves us so much, much more than we deserve, and He treats us as treasures. Let us be grateful for His pruning.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      His pruning is carefully done for sure Martha. Even though it might hurt, it is also essential. Thanks for the comment.

  2. gail says:

    When I first accepted the Lord as my Savior, I thought all of these things would change, I did not know how to navigate the landscape. Growing up Catholic I just did not have any tools to truly work with. It took me about 12yrs to start learning and understanding things. Finally, after that time I started to see things. In the last 10yrs I really have felt big changes. God pruning shears, are such a blessing, He never gave up on me, He really helped me to open my eyes, trust His word, and God gave me the time to take things in, reflect and grow. I excited everyday, to see God’s work continue.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      This is worth its weight in gold Gail: He never gave up on me, He really helped me to open my eyes, trust His word, and God gave me the time to take things in, reflect and grow

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Playing a little catchup this morning,
    Isn’t it funny that it comes on the trail of a “time management post”.

    I love the analogy and comparison of sheers vs chainsaw.

    We experienced the effect of what a hack job can do on a property this past summer when the an unnamed gas company had their crews do their 15 year trim. The 50′ easement grew to nearly 80-90 feet devastating the natural growth and wild berries that grew along the pipeline easement.

    God is not like that… God doesn’t cut so much out that nothing remains. God doesn’t typically intrude uninvited, though He has EVERY RIGHT as our creator God. God is more precise, more intentional… more like… a gardener. One who’s intention is not to replace or destroy us, but to prune us so that we will produce the fruit that is so desired. He wants us to be his prized plant that harvests good tasty fruit year round…

    Thanks for the reminder not to rush things and not to get ahead of the master gardener.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      What a fantastic analogy Ryan! Love, love, love that you took an everyday occurrence and applied it to God’s character. Wonderful job. and you know how I feel about that hack job. 🙁

  4. Cheryl says:

    Your post made me think of the quote, “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.” My dear, sweet Mom used to tell me, “Cheryl, God has His own timetable.” He certainly will not be rushed, so the best thing for us to do is settle in and find contentment in His waiting room.