Read: John 11:38-45
As I was reading this passage what struck me was how often we do not perceive when things which look dead still have life left in them or are truly dead. This time of year there are many examples from the natural world of plants and animals which go dormant. I have an orchid that was given to us when my mom passed away. It had beautiful blooms for several months before they faded and died. I thought that would likely be the end of blossoms but kept giving it a little water once a week and about a year later buds appeared. I have had other plants that seemed dead and gone but with a little care and attention they began to thrive again. Other plants I really have managed to kill and I have given them lots of time and attention beyond the time when I should have let them go. Some people, too, experience “little deaths” as we lose our contact with sunshine and the outdoors but we perk up as we start to have warmer weather and more hours of sunlight each day.
The same can be said about relationships or ever organizations in our lives. When something seems to be all but dead, how do we discern whether we should let it go or give it all our care and attention? How can we tell when pruning is needed? This is something I certainly struggle with.
As we move through the season of Lent towards Resurrection Sunday, I believe this is an excellent time to take stock and pray for guidance about where in our lives pruning is in order and where we need to focus our care and attention.
(from 2020 Lenten Devotional Book)