God uses love-inspired correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us.
[MUSIC PLAYING] I would like to speak of one particular attitude and practice we need to adopt if we're to meet our Heavenly Father's high expectations. It is this: willingly to accept and even seek corrections. Elder Hugh B. Brown told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet high and was yielding no berries.
So he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say: "How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. ... And now you've cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. ... How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here."
"Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I [don't] intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, 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.'"
Years later, Elder Brown was in line to be promoted to general. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. Continuing his story, Elder Brown remembered: "I got on the train and started back ... with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. ... When I got to my tent, ... I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven.
I said, 'How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could to measure up. ... How could you do this to me?' And then I heard a voice. ... It was my own voice, and the voice said, 'I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.' The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. ...
And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, 'Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.'" All of us can meet God's high expectations, however great or small our capacity and talent may be. Let us pray for His love-inspired correction, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.