A few weeks ago, my husband and I were in the yard doing a little yard work. Our primary goal was to trim the bushes in the front yard. Today, I noticed a bunch of dead leaves in the bush nearest the top. When I tugged at the leaves, the entire branch came up. I didn’t realize that the branch had been clipped completely off from the bottom. That explained why the leaves were dead.
Wow! That got me to thinking. Sometimes, we may be wondering why the leaves in our lives that were once so vibrant and full of life, start to wither and die. Leaves of relationships. Leaves of endeavors. Leaves of passion. Etc. We start to notice discoloration and disfigurement. But we don’t give it much attention because things still seem to fit. It’s not until we really start paying attention to the healthy leaves that we even notice the dead ones.
The leaves didn’t die because I wanted them to die. They didn’t die because they were sick. They didn’t die because they were neglected. They died because what they were attached to, was cut off. They were disconnected from what gave them life.
Think about your life. How many times have things in your life died because they were disconnected from what gave them life? Relationships? Endeavors? Passions? The leaves remained in place even though they were lifeless. The dead leaves didn’t move until I moved them. Even if I chose to leave the dead branch in place to fill that hole, the evidence of the dead leaves would have told the truth about the branch they were attached to. The truth is, something was dead and no longer producing life. The leaves don’t lie!
By their fruit you will recognize them.
The leaves were still legitimately leaves. The bush was still legitimately a bush. But that particular branch no longer produced because it was disconnected from it’s life source. It had been cut completely off.
Some of us will think about the people in our lives that we need to cut off. Some will remember those that we’ve allowed to hold a place in our lives that give no life. Then some of us will think about how bad those dead leaves make our lives look from the outside.
But what about you? What about God being the tree and you being a branch? What do your leaves look like? Are you producing fruit?
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Just like the leaves on the bush in my front yard, our leaves don’t lie. If we’re not producing, what will God do to us?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,g and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:22