I’ve really been enjoying by time in the book of Romans (particularly the latter chapters – there’s quite a lot of good stuff to be found in there!) and came across a passage in Romans 11 that faily leapt off the page at me:
To me, this verse begs the question – how are your branches looking? After all, if a branch is not connected to the tree’s root system – even though it may still be attached to the tree – you’ll soon be able to tell by the harvest that it produces. However, a properly connected branch brims with vitality, gets stronger over time, and produces a bountiful harvest for many years to come.
Since my Root is holy, then I (one of the branches) should reflect His holiness, too. The question is this – do I?
Most of the time, I like to think that I do. Othertimes, not so much. Sometimes, I start looking around at the branches on other trees and wonder why I’m not more like them. However, the Lord reminds me that the roots of some trees are diseased, and even if it appears as if the harvest is bountiful and good now, it’s simply a matter of time before that which is unseen (and operates below the surface) becomes evident for all to behold in the fruit.
The task of the branch is to simply be a conduit for the the root system, so that the tree does what it is supposed to do – produce a harvest. Either this harvest will serve a good purpose or an evil one; it all depends on what’s happening below the surface, at the root level.
Spiritually speaking, we are to be conduits for the Holy Spirit so that the power and love of God are evident in the everydayness [not an actual word – I made it up, and I think it sounds pretty good!] of our lives. After all, a tree can’t produce fruit without healthy and well-connected branches, and neither can we!
I also love the idea that trees have more than just one branch. From my casual observation of nature, it sure seems like God loves variety and abundance, so His Root actually has many, many trees, with countless numbers of branches depending on the vital spiritual nourishment that only He can provide. Each tree produces different fruit, too, but the end result is the same – all that is done by the Root and for the Root ends up drawing others to the Root, even though He remains unseen.
There sure is a lot of truth in this little verse, no? Of course, these are simply my observations – do with them what you will.
Dear Lord, thanks for the latitude that You give me with this blog; some days I’m able to delineate something specific for which I can give You thanks, while on other days – like today – You provide me with the opportunity to meditate on a passage of Scripture, and simply share whatever You’ve put on my heart. Thanks for the reminder that Daily Thankful isn’t about following a rigid formula – otherwise, this blog would become nothing more than an exercise in religious legalism.
I so appreciate the way that You help me better understand Your truth through images – things that my eyes can behold, and my my mind can process and apply in a pretty straightforward way. I’m grateful that Your path is simple, but not easy; and I can trust that I will arrive at the destination You’ve purposed for me, even though there may be many twists and turns along the way.
Finally, remind me to remain connected to You, rather than looking around at other trees and trying to be like them. You have made me unique and different, and I need to remember to celebrate this distinctiveness, rather than trying to blend in and look like other branches in the orchard. In Your name I pray, Amen.