We have three large trees in our front yard, one of which grew more than three storeys tall and had many branches with plush green leaves and when in bloom, lilac flowers.
During the passage of Hurricane Matthew, the wind pushed over this particular tree and it fell onto the front wall and windows of our house obstructing the walking path and preventing the windows from opening……unfortunately, we did not take a picture of the tree in this state.
After the storm passed, one of my sons and my husband proceeded to cut off the downed tree’s branches so that a path of passage could be made and the front windows opened.
During the last part of this process, my husband climbed up on the tree trunk to chop off the remaining obstructing branches and when he finished and jumped off, an amazing thing happened.
After being in an almost fully horizontal position for more than 2 days, the tree stood back up.
Once the branches were cut off or pruned, with the excess weight gone, the roots that remained in the rock were so strong that they were able to pull the tree back up as if it never fell.
I found that pretty amazing.
Sometimes in life, just like that tree, we find ourselves in the midst of a raging storm and the hurricane-force winds of adversity topple us over then move on, leaving us in a compromised position.
And just like my son and husband did with that tree, as we lie in that compromised position, God comes along with His pruning shears and starts pruning branches off our lives.
During this process, it is very obvious to us why some branches are being removed. There is no life in them; we know they are dead and need to go.
However, for other branches, it is not so readily apparent why they are being removed because they seem okay. But a closer look through the eyes of the Spirit reveals they are dying and have become a hindrance to our growth and/or the growth of others and so they too need to go.
Then for other branches, their removal is a total mystery. They are healthy, flourishing, beautiful, productive, beneficial to us and to others, yet they are removed and we really do not understand why.
In an article entitled “Pruning Trees and Shrubs” by Mike Zins and Deborah Brown, posted on the University of Minnesota’s Extension Website, they list the following key reasons for pruning:-
- To promote plant health, e.g., to remove dead, dying, diseased or infested branches, branches that rub together, branch stubs etc.
- To maintain a plant’s intended purpose in a landscape, e.g., to encourage flower and fruit development, maintain a certain density, maintain a desired or special form, etc.
- To improve a plant’s appearance, e.g., to control, size, shape, proportion, density, to remove unwanted and undesirable aspects of the plant, etc.
- To protect people and property, e.g., to remove branches that are hazardous, weak, overhanging, interfering, that obscure vision and/or entry etc.
God, our Father, the Master Pruner knows why He prunes branches off of our lives even when we don’t. We need to always trust Him and believe that He is doing a good and needed thing…..Selah!
Even though it fell, the tree had some roots that remained anchored in the rock throughout the storm and now that the branches were cut off and the excess weight gone, the tree was able to draw on the strength of those roots, and that strength enabled the tree to be lifted up out of its compromised position and once again stand vertically.
The roots that remained anchored in the rock were so strong that they enabled the tree to be pulled back up as if it never fell; they enabled the tree to rise again, and although in another form as a result of the pruning, be repositioned for new growth and greater productivity.
In the same way, like the tree, when we go through a raging storm in life, even if the hurricane-force winds topple us over and we have to endure a pruning process, once our spiritual roots remain anchored in The Rock, in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord, at the end of it all, the strength that we draw from Him will enable us to rise again in another form, repositioned for new growth and greater fruitfulness for His honor and glory.
The key is for us to anchor our roots of faith in The Rock, in Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord before the storm, and to keep them anchored in Him during the storm and in the aftermath of the storm during the pruning process.
That is the key…..Selah!
HYMN – “WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD IN THE STORMS OF LIFE”
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:”
(Isaiah 26:3-4 – KJV)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
(John 15:2 – NKJV)
Copyright © 2016 by Kim Sweeting, Author of “Unwalled” Blog, All rights reserved.
Photo “Chopped Branches” Copyright © 2016 by Kim Sweeting, All rights reserved.
Photo “Vertical Tree” Copyright © 2016 by Kim Sweeting, All rights reserved.
“WILL YOUR ANCHOR HOLD IN THE STORMS OF LIFE” courtesy of THENBA – http://www.youtube.com