This weekend a gigantic portion of a huge oak tree crashed down over the neighborhood playground. We saw it driving home on Sunday and even from far away you could see how massive a crash this must have been.
Later that day we walked over to check it out and it was amazing. The inside of the tree was basically hollow in that section. This massive section of branches had fallen down because it had been “separated” from the central part of the tree. It was a great reminder of what happens to us over time as we become more and more hollow in our faith.
These branches fell because over time they were no longer being fed and strengthened by the main part of the tree. You could see all the lines and areas where water had seeped in over time and weakened this part of the tree.
I don’t know how many times we have walked over to this playground in the past year. How many times have we sat right under that tree? How many times have my children played right under that section of branches that fell? Never in my wildest imagination did I think that any part of this old, oak tree might fall down. It looked solid…and safe.
And how often am I like this? Putting on a good show? Looking like everything is good and together. When inside, the rain is seeping in. There are tunnels being created that are weakening my connection to the main tree…to the vine. Where any day now I might just break off and crash?
I want to be a branch. A solid branch. I don’t want any tunnels boring in and through me where anything can seep in. This connection can’t come from just a few feeble attempts at prayer or study. As Richard Foster proclaims: I must “keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking” with the full belief that He is there. He is listening and He is creating a strength in me that is unshakable and unbreakable.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. ~ John 15:4