Friday, March 13, 2020


"Do you want to save these for firewood?" my mother asked as she held up some of the larger branches she had cut from a tree in my backyard. My husband and I had recently closed escrow on our first home, and we were working to clear the overgrown backyard.

I stood amazed at the fact that this was my tree. It was here for my pleasure and purposes.  However, I wondered how a tree could be so big and so dead. I knew the tree had grown large before it died, but, seeing how brittle the tree was, I could not imagine a time when the barren branches were lush. She stood there, waiting for my decision. Did I want the clippings for firewood?

No, I didn't want them; the branches served no purpose for me.

That day we trimmed as much of the dead tree as we could, but we were limited by our tools.  A few years later, the tree would uproot in a rainstorm and fall over. Fortunately, it didn't cause any damage, but it served as a good reminder to the difference between a fruitful tree and a withered one.

A fruitful tree is a benefit to those around it, but a withered tree is a danger to those around it.

A fruitful tree gives life to new growth, but a withered tree is a waste of the efforts put into it.

A fruitful tree changes with the seasons, but a withered tree is stuck in its unhealthy state.

Jesus knew something about branches too. He told His disciples “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. 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" (John 15:5-6).

Let it be a warning to all of us. The only source of life is to remain connected to Christ.

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