A Painful Tug

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. – Ecclesiastes 3:1,2 

She stands tall and proud, a striking queen palm positioned a little too close to our swimming pool. Pieces of concrete patio start to lift. A sprinkler pipe breaks, sending a flood of water into the yard. The damage, though seemingly minimal, is costly. And as much as I cringe at the thought, I realize that it’s simply time to let her go.

My husband and I wrestle with whether or not to save her. But a $250.00 estimate pretty much makes the decision for us. Time to get the chainsaw out of the shed and start working to carve away at her branches.

SPRINGTIMEI thought about how God will sometimes ask me to uproot a beautifully planted tree along my spiritual journey. And at the time, I find it difficult to make any sense out of it. My tree can take many beautiful forms, like serving in church ministry, writing that book, or finally deciding to be intentionally hospitable. It looks great on the outside, moving gracefully as the wind catches its leaves. Providing shade from the sun, my tree creates life-giving oxygen and it offers a perch for wearied friends. What could be so bad about that?

But it is the underworking that often goes undetected. It is important for me to consider my heart while participating in these life-giving activities. Unresolved anger or a poor attitude has potential to cause harm. A tree that provided years of protection will suddenly become a dangerous detriment to God’s pool of Living Water. Is that because the tree has stopped fulfilling its tree-like duties? No. The tree is still a tree. But if I’m not careful to submit every branch to God, my own dreams can do more harm than good.

What has God asked you to uproot lately? Do you harbor a secret sin? Maybe you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, and you are starting to see the signs of broken communication. Perhaps the Lord may be asking you to make a career change and you’re finding that your life purpose has taken on a new meaning.

Wherever you are, take heart, my friend. If it is time to do away with a giant weed-looking tree in your life, take comfort in knowing that you won’t have to pull it alone. God’s Word is full of powerful promises.

It’s time to take hold of one, and tug.

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