Remain and Be Surprised

Near where I live there is a tree that took the brunt of a storm a few of years ago. A large section of the tree broke off and lays flat on the yard. I would have bet my bottom dollar that there was no way that section of the tree would live. Imagine my surprise as the season went by and growth still came upon this tree. It still bears new leaves every spring some three years later. How was it this large broken limb wasn’t completely dead, that new life continues to bloom? Upon closer inspection you can see that this large damaged piece of the tree, although laying on the ground, was still attached to the main tree by the narrowest of margins.

I have felt like that tree limb, broken off, separated from God and life with nothing left to do but wither up and die. Surely I could not continue. Have you ever felt like that or known someone who has had so much weight on their life? You know for sure that if they’re not broken yet they will be and you just don’t know how they’ll make it. Where is the hope for them, for me, for you?

Seeing that tree by where I live reminded me of the hope. Jesus talks about being the vine and how we’re the branches (John 15:1-17). “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.” (John 15:4 NIV) Do you see it? That tree I saw could still live and sprout new leaves because it was still connected to the main tree. I was so quick to assume there was no hope for it. I’ve been quick to assume that what I felt was breaking me would succeed. Praise be to God for He knows better. His love and salvation can and does save me. It saves you too. In the eyes of the world, someone may look lost and without hope. Jesus sees clearer than that and tells us that as long as we stay connected to Him we WILL live.

Will we choose to hold on to our source of nourishment, our source of hope, our source of life? When storms hit us so hard and we have no idea how we will survive will we still look to our source of safety? I have hope for you and me. Why? Because I know who loves us and I know He ALWAYS does what He says He’s going to do.

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