Branch Upon BranchWednesday, February 10, 2016
Well, last weekend we decided to see if we could do something to save them. Trimming them all around wasn’t an option because they had experienced way too many years of neglect and were far too large. But, we had another idea - Carmel. Yes, picture the beautifully twisted Cypress trees that bless the rocky cliffs of the California coast. It was worth a try…and what could it hurt? The plants were already incredibly ugly and we figured hacking away at them couldn’t make them any worse. If our experiment failed, well then, there was always the tractor option.
So, we dug in. My husband made some choice cuts with the clippers and his handsaw. Then, I climbed underneath the bush and kept at it. I kept at it for four days to be exact.
As I clipped and sawed away at the base of the bush, slowly making progress, a new beautiful tree emerged. With each clip of dead wood, more of the beauty of the plant appeared. Occasionally I cut a live branch away to allow the sun to penetrate the canopy of the juniper. This enabled bright streams of light to illuminate the twisted red and artistically gnarled trunk. What an incredible surprise it was to discover all this beauty beneath those ancient overgrown branches!
Right now, as I sit exhausted at my computer, with my muscles complaining at the work, my heart is feeling nothing but satisfaction!
We can look like those bushes, can’t we? We can become overgrown with years of unnecessary or unhealthy behaviors and habits. Sin enters our life, branch upon branch, until the beauty in our heart is completely covered up. If left unattended we become a tangle of dead wood blocking out the Light that once penetrated our hearts. But no matter how overgrown with sin we have allowed ourselves to become, Christ can and will transform us into new beautiful creations!
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (1 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
By turning to God, placing our lives and our sins in His hands, He will lovingly prune away the dead wood to reveal the true beauty of our hearts. No life is beyond repair. No sin is too great. No matter our pasts, God will always accept us when we surrender our lives to Him.
And when we do, He will breathe new life into our tangled limbs enabling His Light to shine right into our hearts.