Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Branch

Last week was really challenging for me. We are going through some things that caused me to sigh loudly proclaiming, "What's the use?" Without going into great detail, I struggled with financial issues, physical exhaustion, inferiority, discipline issues with the children, feelings of hopeless, lack of direction in my homeschool, a messy and unorganized house, physical ailments, and the inability to get a good night's sleep for the majority of the week. That's just what I can think of off the top of my head. I really struggled with finding time to spend with the Lord.

I was feeling really downtrodden and overwhelmed, trying to put my finger on the source of my discontentment. All of sudden, I realized that I had not made time with the Lord a priority for the last week or so. At this point, I would love to say that I immediately bowed my head and asked God to help me get reconnected with Him. However, being in my current state of mind, I got a little miffed. I mean, shouldn't God allow some "wiggle room"? Why, after only a week or so of not spending daily time with Him, was my life feeling like a downward spiral? Shouldn't He give us at least a couple of weeks, maybe three before allowing us to feel like we had been run over by a truck?

That's when God gently placed a scripture in my heart, even when I was not seeking guidance from His word. I was reminded of when Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15: 4-5 NASB) How long can a branch survive when it becomes detached from the tree? It begins dying immediately. Oh, it can stay green for a while. It can put on a good front just lying there all alone. But slowly, subtly it begins to die. The leaves begin to wilt and brown. Eventually they curl and become brittle, detaching themselves from the branch with the slighest breeze. Before long, the branch itself dries completely, good for nothing else but being tossed into the fire.

So it goes with our Christian life. The moment we detach ourselves from the Vine, our spiritual lives begin to die. We can fake it for a while, pretending things are okay and we have all the answers. But eventually, we begin to wilt and become brittle. Given enough time, our spiritual life can become so dry it is consumed by the trials of this world. Unlike the branches of the vine, we have the ability to reconnect ourselves to the source of our strength. We have the potential to begin thriving again in the life-giving relationship we have with our Creator. Let me encourage you today to stay connected to the Vine through the study of God's word and prayer. Even one day separated from our tree of Life is too long.


Ronda said...

Thank you so much for this word that I truly needed to hear today. I love that the Holy Spirit is our Reminder of the Word of God even when we aren't looking at that moment. I'm off to spend some time with HIM before my day goes any further. I do hope your week gets better. If you ever need to talk (after you talk with him) please feel free to call. I do love getting to know you better even if it is through your blog!

flmom said...

Just what I needed to hear today.......