We had a rain storm blow through fast and furious last night. Sideways rain, howling winds, midnight skies lit up with piercing light. The kind of storm that leaves you breathless and a little shaky. The kind of storm that wrings a different kind of worship from your heart. One that reminds you that your God is not simply a tender lamb and a gentle touch, but unbridled and powerful and ferocious. But that’s another blog post…
As we stepped outside this morning and were driving to work, the yards and roads and parking lots were littered with branches. Bright green leaves on branches small and large that had ripped away from the trees as the winds and lightning came through. I was reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books.
“The bough that breaks off from the tree in a storm may bloom briefly and give to the unthinking passer-by the impression that it is a healthy and fruitful branch, but its tender blossoms will soon perish and the bough itself wither and die. There is no lasting life apart from the root.” – A.W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous
Have you ever wanted to grab those branches and try to put them back on the tree? See if they’ll stick?
I am so thankful that we have a God who grafts us back in when we’ve been separated from the vine. He can do that! Isn’t He amazing? When we turn to Him, He brings us right back in and re-attaches us.
But how many times has a storm blown through, has life hit a hard season (whether that be tragedy, hardship, or the over-busy schedules), and we break away and attempt to carry on in our own strength? We might bloom for a bit, but it isn’t long before we wither and fade, are at our wit’s end, and say to a friend, “I can’t do this anymore.” We hear this a fair bit in prayer ministry.
We need sustenance and strength and wisdom and protection that comes from the everlasting root. Jesus says in John 15:4-5, “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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
So what does it take to be grafted back in? I think it might be as simple and profound as falling on our knees and crying out:
“God, help me. I’m out here on the ground and I’ve tried to carry on in my own strength again. I can’t do it. I renounce my control. Please forgive me. This moment, I choose to give You control of my life, of my mind, of my heart, of my family, of my future. I give You the reigns. What is my next step, God? What would You have me do? I receive Your blessing of peace. I receive Your Word as the lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps 119:105). Please draw me back in and show me the way. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
“I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Revelation 22:16