The Pruning Saws

David Engelsma

On a minister’s desk in a city in Scotland, there used to lie two pruning saws, to remind him, he said, of the days when he lived in the country, and had trees of his own to prune and trim. Maybe, he kept the sharp saws there to remind himself that pruning isn’t a bad thing for any of us, especially when we are young!

You know how growing things are greatly helped by being pruned, and how hedges or roses that have never been pruned, grow scraggly and ragged, not beautiful or strong at all. Now maybe you think roses don’t like having their branches cut off, yet, it really is good for them, and the gardener does it out of kindness. He prunes them because he cares about them and wants them to grow healthy and strong.

When your teacher at school tells you your faults or shows the bad habits you are slipping into, that’s being pruned! It’s good for boys or girls when their teacher stops them when they are being rude, or careless and forget their manners. You may not like it at the time, but, like the rose, you may live to be thankful for it afterwards.

So, when you are corrected at school for laughing at another’s mistake, or for speaking when you should be silent, don’ t think you are being picked on or being punished, or that your teacher is unkind. Certainly not! You are only being pruned, and pruning is good for all quick-growing things, even for boys and girls.

The Lord prunes the trees in His garden, too! Just as your teacher corrects you occasionally for a fault, or helps you to get rid of some nasty trick or habit of yours, so does the Lord with all His children. He corrects, He restrains them, not because He is angry, but because He cares for them so much. And in His book we can read the purpose of it all, "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness" (Hebrews 12:11). The trees that God has pruned bear finer fruit by and by. Students, seek the Lord while you are young so that you may experience His pruning hand of love and bear fruit unto His honor and glory - "those that seek me early shall find me" (Proverbs. 8:17).