Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do You Need an Arborist in Your Life?

It looked more like a dead tree than a live one. Most of its leaves had fallen away from the trunk that could no longer support their life. Their former brilliance a glorious green, vibrant and alive, had withered and died. The leaves had turned a sickly shade of yellow and then the edges curled into themselves as brown took over, cutting off all the life they once had. It seemed to have happened suddenly, but it had actually taken quite a bit of time. Not so fast that anyone would notice, until of course it seemed to be too late to heal it.
They fell to the ground, one by one. They didn’t glide down caught on a breeze, they fell like stones. And soon enough the branches began to be exposed. And before long it was no longer a safe haven for birds from predators or the elements, so they left. The tree stood almost bare. The branches that once might have held a rope swing had suffered one too many storms. It was obvious that there was little life left. Only a few branches still had greenery on them. It was time to cut it down, cut it up, and use it for firewood.

The arborist came and immediately saw what was wrong. The tree had never been pruned in any way whatsoever. There were suckers where branches had been that broke off in storms, leaving gaping tears in the bark. Disease ensued, causing death to its limbs. Insects infected the rotting wood. The arborist began the process of removing the dead branches while softly humming a sweet melody. He immediately disinfected the saw blades after each cut so disease could not spread. He took care to apply black paint to the open wound at the collar cutting off any entrance for moisture and insects to penetrate.

He worked carefully for hours, occasionally stepping back at a distance to admire his work the way an artist does. When he was done it seemed that 80% of the tree was gone. It was shocking how pitiful it looked. How could the cost of this versus just cutting it down be justified? Why did he bother to prune more than he left, and how was that ugly thing going to live? Why, he even cut back the branches that had leaves on them!

Fall gave way to winter, and once again the spring warmed things up and new life began its arrival over the land. As the days grew warmer and the rains soaked the earth, new growth appeared on the tree. Branches grew and leaves began to bud. Slowly but surely new life was prevalent on the formerly dying tree. Birds returned and nested and squirrels once again played tag in its branches. All because the dead wood was cut off and the good branches were pruned.

We are like that tree. It’s painful to let things go sometimes, even things that are hurting us, but our God is the Master Arborist. He sees the beauty in us even when our lives are not so handsome. He sees fullness when we feel barren, He sees hope when we see despair, and He sees success where we see failure. He sculpts each one of us, and if we allow, gets rid of all that is destructive to us. And what’s still good inside us He multiplies and makes even better. So when it seems all is lost and impossible to save, please remember that He is working for you, not against you. He will heal all the hurt. Do you need an arborist in your life?

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2


Monday, May 21, 2018

Ladies, We Are All Princesses!

As I get older I find such pleasure in letting little girls know how special they are, and that they are princesses in the King’s family.

To see their young faces light up because I am telling them that they are the most beautiful and delicate of God’s creations is worth all the pain of not having heard that myself at their age. 

Each one of us needs to know how important we are to this world and to our Father.  So if your childhood went by with no accolades or if you were wrongly told you were nothing, don’t let one more day go by without telling another little girl those things you yourself longed to hear. 

The joy and peace that will fill your own heart will astound you, and the smile on their precious young faces will heal your scarred heart.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.”  Proverbs 31:26 NKJV