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Bulletin – September 2, 2012

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Growth Persuasion

My uncle who lived in Florida was discouraged by the lack of fruit on his grapefruit tree. Someone told him he needed to whack the trunk of the tree a few times with a board.

Apparently, there is some truth to this unusual method of encouraging growth. One gardening expert says: “At times, the flowering hormone in the tree seems to get stuck and no flowers appear. Carefully persuade the tree to flower by shocking it. Hit the trunk . . . several times, [which will cause] small bruises in the bark.” This advice may stimulate growth.

When trouble comes into our lives, we sometimes feel as if we’ve been hit broadside. We feel desperation and then we wonder, Why is this happening to me?

One possibility is that God is using a painful experience to get our attention. In Psalm 119:71, David wrote, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” And Hebrews 12:11 says that chastening “yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.”

Is God using pain in your life to lovingly persuade you to change? The season of trouble may not be easy, but if we let ourselves be trained by it, new growth will result as we become more like Him (Phil. 3:10).

We shrink from the purging and pruning,
Forgetting the Gardener knows
The deeper the cutting and paring
The richer the cluster that grows. —Anon.

Affliction for God’s people can be the pruning knife to  prepare us for greater fruitfulness.

 Article by Cindy Hess Kasper, Our Daily Bread, Copyright 2012 by RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Further distribution is prohibited without written permission from RBC Ministries.

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