A few months ago, during a storm, a limb from our neighbor’s tree fell on their home. Our neighbors had not moved into their home yet, so they had no idea that this massive limb was laying on their roof. As the days passed, the limb which once held vibrant green leaves was now lifeless. The leaves had turned yellow, a sign of dehydration. The beauty it once held was now completely gone. Eventually, our neighbors were notified and hired professional help to clean and prune the tree.
And then on Sunday, at one ‘o’clock in the morning, my husband and I were awakened to a loud thud. You guessed it! The same tree, which branches extended slightly over our garage, had broken off. There was no massive storm, nor was it a windy night. It just broke.
As I tried to drift off to sleep, I couldn’t help but picture the tree as a metaphor to a person who is detached from God. Due to dehydration from living water, they break, wither and no longer produce fruit. But the more that I thought about the tree, the more I felt God was leading me to something else.
During a recent road trip to Austin to get our oldest ready for his sophomore year at the University of Texas (Go Longhorns!), I stumbled upon a verse from Jeremiah 17:8.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.
I knew God was trying to tell me something, as I felt so drawn to the tree from earlier this year. (Read Blog Post Here). I just didn’t know what he was trying to show or teach me. So, I started seeking this tree thing a little more.
I realized that God was trying to paint a picture for me. He showed me that 2018 is more about pruning than producing. He is cutting off dead branches in my life to reduce the chance of breakage later.
“Daughter, did you see what happened to those limbs? Instead of waiting for a storm to break you, I’m going to prune you now, so you can be stronger! I know it doesn’t feel good in this moment, but I want you to know what I take away or remove from your life is not a loss. It’s a gain.”
Cue ugly crying.
In the inconvenience of a broken tree limb, he’s wrapped up my year in one verse.
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. John 15:2-6
Instead of trying to rush past my pruning season, I’m going to let God do the work in me. No lie, I’m scared that too much cutting is like receiving a bad haircut. But just like hair, you must cut the dead ends to reach that Selena Gomez Pantene ProV hair bounce.
Once that happens, I’ll be like the tree in Jeremiah 17:8. I will not fear the heat (trails), my confidence will rely on Him always. I will not be anxious for I know the same God who took my 5 loaves and 2 fish and stretched it over 2018 will continue to supply all my needs whether I have little or much. I will not stop bearing fruit, for with God all things are possible! This is my confidence. I will see the goodness of the Lord.
Prune: reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous or unwanted parts.