“The LORD [is] near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalms 34:18 NKJV
Yesterday we experienced very high winds where I live. Thankfully, we didn’t experience the deadly tornadoes our neighboring states endured. These pictures were taken in my yard. This pear tree was severely broken. Its gaping wound is obvious. Unlike this tree, we don’t always display our wounds. Like the tree, the harsh winds of life can potentially break us away from our Source and we too can fall away.
The fallen limb is wasting no time showing signs of decay. Its newly lush leaves are quickly dying. The same thing happens to us when we are pulled away from God. Without God, we can occupy space but not truly live. The limb dies when removed from the “body.” The same thing happens to us when we allow storms and winds to remove us from the body of Christ.
Sometimes we remove ourselves from God because of hurt inflicted by others. For many, it may be depression or other illnesses that leave them feeling ostracized and alone. Some people feel so overwhelmed that instead of running toward God for deliverance, fear or guilt sends them in the opposite direction.
This limb landed on top of my roses. They are crushed beneath its heavy weight. While this limb is no longer receiving sustenance from the tree, it is crushing the life and beauty that lies beneath it. Broken people can do that too.
Many broken people crush the hopes and dreams of others. Their wounds are so deep, they can’t remember when they were once a source of life to others. In their misery, hurt people hurt others. Many who are suffering don’t directly squash the people around them but instead attempt to block the Light that would allow others to thrive.
My roses will die if I don’t remove this limb soon. The dead weight does more damage the longer it is remains. It is not God’s desire that we break or crush those around us. In His faithfulness, God does what is necessary to protect us and others whether we like it or not.
You see, I lost another pear tree last summer. When it split (and fatally so) I knew I should prune the remaining two if they were going to survive. But I didn’t act in a timely manner when I was given the direction to do so. When we don’t do what we should, when we should, we usually suffer the consequences.
Thankfully, God prunes us to keep us from breaking! He cuts away things that we perceive as beautiful and wonderful because He can see the impending storm beyond the horizon. Without pruning, the world could pull us apart and possibly separate us from God! Without Him we can’t survive. We may be alive but we won’t thrive anymore than the dying limb across my roses.
Pruning is often painful. We rarely recognize it. We tend to analyze why when people and things we enjoy are gone. God prunes as necessary to keep us upright. God loves us and gives us grace and mercy to endure the cuts that ultimately leave us stronger, healthier and able to thrive for His Kingdom.
My healthy trees provide homes for several animals. They produce berries for the birds and
rats squirrels to eat. They release oxygen essential for life. For our spiritual health, it is necessary that God prunes us so we not only survive but also provide for others.
We may lose a few limbs along the way. However, God prunes those who abide in Him for our own good.
Be mindful to not let broken people break you. Pray for them. Minister to them if they allow you. Recognize that every hurt isn’t about you but instead something inside the offending party. Seek discernment to recognize pain in others. There is no better way to show God’s love than to meet people in their pain.
Finally, don’t break other people when you are hurting. Sometimes we experience bad breaks. There are times when God’s pruning leaves us feeling broken. Regardless of how a wound is formed, it takes time to heal. However, our God restores and comforts those who seek Him.
With God we can move forward no matter what bad “breaks” we are forced to face.
“For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease.” Job 14:7 NKJV