Allowing God to Break Off Pointless Branches From Your “Life Tree”
This morning I drew a cartoon tree on a sheet of paper in my notebook.
I titled the trunk with my name and then started making squiggle lines to represent branches. I then labeled each branch with the qualities I see in myself- the good and the bad.
I started first with the positive things. The parts of me with the branches and “fruit” I’m proud of. These are the qualities that God has grown in me over the years because of His great grace! Those are the branches that are in the front. Low hanging.
Then I went on to label my other branches. And I was pretty ruthless. These are branches I keep tucked away underneath some of my prettier limbs – the ones that display the parts of me I want to be known for.
So although they don’t look great, I labeled them anyway. Fear, bitterness, pity…to name a few.
This got me thinking about three truths the bible has taught me.
- It reminded me that like those tucked away branches, I’m “hidden in Christ.” Colossians 3:3
- How Jesus and I are always connected because He the “vine and I am the branch.” John 15:5
- And how merciful God is to “cover” the dark sides of me. Psalm 91:4 (I love this verse so, so much.)
But putting those three truths aside, it actually prompted me to do something that I think was very helpful and wanted to share with you.
After I fully labeled my tree I started putting “X’s” through the limbs I wanted Jesus to break off of me. After that, I made a short “opposite list” to those qualities I don’t particularly love.
So I “X’d” out fear and asked God to grow a branch of strength.
I “X’d” out bitterness and asked God to grow a branch of remembrance.
And I “X’d” out pity and asked God to grow a branch of thankfulness.
God wants us to be people with branches covered in low hanging fruit that’s ripe and good. He wants us to be mature trees! (Like the one David talks about in Psalm 1.) He wants us to be people filled with the visible evidence of God.
Jesus is the one who can break off the branches in our lives that are pointless. The branches that overcrowd our tree making us appear to be successful or important or accomplished. But all we are is full, and that doesn’t make us fruitful.
What does your tree look like? Sketch it out. Write your name on the trunk and write out what’s going on inside you on the branches. X out the limbs you want Jesus to break off and start drawing new branches, with new qualities- and ask God to grow each one.
// Lord, thank you for showing us the qualities you want to grow in us. Replace the old with the new!