Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Tale of the Raspberry Bush

This last weekend was a good weekend to make up some much needed yard work.

The whole family was outside. The kids were looking for potatoes, Crystyne was cleaning out the strawberry patch and I had the job of pruning the raspberry bush, and as always I forget to wear long sleeves and end up very itchy by the end. But as I was trimming back the bush, Mason looked at Crystyne and I in horror and said, “Dad, what are you doing, you are killing the raspberries.”

I chuckled, and my mind reflected on a story that Elder Hugh B. Brown told about a current bush.
It went something like this. He was living in Canada and had purchased a run-down farm. One morning he went out into the farm and saw a currant bush that had grown up over six feet high. There were no blossoms and no currants. Having been raised on a farm, he knew what needed to happen to the bush, so he got some shears and started working, clipping it back until there was nothing left but little stumps. As it was finished he saw what appeared to be a tear on the stumps, and he thought the currant bush was crying.
He wondered. “What are you crying about?”

In his mind he thought the current bush was saying, “How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”

To which he replied “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.’”

It made me wonder how many times in my life, have I misunderstood the gardener, without realizing that what he was doing was for my own growth and well-being. In that instance it was a reminder to me that when things are challenging, or when I face trials and tribulations, they are not to harm me, but to make me grow into something new, something better than I was, something that Heavenly Father wants me to become. He is the gardener and he knows exactly what he is doing.