After every workout I go outside and walk barefoot in God’s creation. I like to connect and ground myself in Him as a reminder that He is my solid foundation. As I walked this morning, I felt the strong earth below my feet and with each step I contacted with the truth that He sustains me, even in the darkest times. You see, we had a pretty strong storm blow through this morning. The wind whistled through the trees so loudly that I could not hear myself think. The skies were so dark it was as if it were night. I cold feel the anxiety well up inside me as I watched it blow in. The lights flickered on and off. Lightening crashed all around. Thunder raged in heavens above and there I stood, little ole me in this great big storm standing strong in my faith and choosing not to allow the anxiety to overcome me. Before I knew it, the storm was over, and the sun shined through the clouds. It was my chance to go out and walk, barefoot in the muddy mess the rain had left. As I walked, I saw our peach tree had lost another limb. It was a big one. It had become weak and could no longer sustain its strength and it gave way under the immense pressure of the storm.
There are other limbs that broke under pressure as well, but I noticed something about them today: where they were broken, they no longer grew, but new growth had come out from the side. I walked over to the pear tree and noticed the same thing. New growth out to the side of the broken limb, and it is bearing fruit! As I touched the pear gently it fell into my hand. It is not ripe. It is hard and quite ugly. It’s not the perfect pear you would see in the store, yet there is a beauty in it that struck me to my soul. It had grown off one of the little growths next to the severed limb.We are much like these trees.
We lose strength battling the storms of life and find ourselves so tired that eventually we break. Part of us just breaks inside and dies off, never to grow again. Yet we are not made to remain in a broken state, just as the trees have new growth, so can we. If we choose it. Our broken areas can sprout new growth. It won’t look like our old ways because they have been pruned by the weight of the world and I suspect that the Father allowed it so we can change our path and get on track with new growth. It won’t always be pretty either but there will be beauty in it. There will be glory in it, God’s glory, and there is nothing more beautiful than that!
As I carried the pear inside, I could feel its weight in my hand and was reminded to let go of the weights I am carrying right now. Some of these weights are so heavy I often feel the bending of my soul as it comes close to the breaking point, and I am there in a couple of places right now. Its painful, the storm is bearing down and in all that surrounds me I want to cry out “ENOUGH”!!!! Instead, I will choose to hand it over to the Father. I will give him the weight so my soul no longer bends to the point of breaking. There will be no pruning of my soul by the world today, however, if I do break, I am more than happy to choose new growth into new direction and bear the fruits of my Father. They may not be the prettiest fruits, but they will shine in the light of the One True God and they will love despite the storms.
The Vine and the Branches – John 15
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.