In view of the official start of spring, the following parable from the 19th century Scottish preacher George H. Morrison seems appropriate:
There was a gardener who in the spring-time went out into his garden and sowed sweet-peas in it. And when in early summer they began to sprout, and to show green above the earth, he took a row of stakes, and set them up beside the peas. And when the tender plants began to grow, he tied them to the stakes with wool to train them up.
But one was disobedient. It looked around the garden. There were the roses and crown imperials, and snap dragons, and none of them were tied. Why should it then be bound so tightly? And so it burst the woolen bands. The gardener came and tied it up again; again it snapped the ties, and so for many days. Until at last the gardener left it to itself, and let it grow just as it pleased. Ah! How it reveled in its freedom, and jeered its hampered brothers and its tight-laced sisters!
But by-and-by there came a change. Somehow it lost all power to raise itself. It trailed in circling disorder on the ground. And when its flowers blossomed, and cried for air and sunlight, do what it could, it could not raise them from the mud. And the dogs scampered over them, and the cats rolled on them, and all the time its brothers and sisters tied to the stakes were mounting upwards, joywards, heavenwards. Until at last the heart of the rebel began to break, and she cried, “Ah, that I had only let myself be trained, for I see now the gardener knew best after all.”
Dear children, God is your gardener. Trust Him. Let Him have all His way with you. He only binds to bless.
From The Oldest Trade in the World and Other Addresses to the Younger Folk by George H. Morrison (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1898), 21-23.
Proverbs 3:11-12 My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
John 15:1-2: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
Here is a link to the full text version of Morrison’s collection of sermons on Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=pPUOAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+Oldest+Trade+in+the+World&cd=3#v=onepage&q=&f=false