When winter is over, all of creation seems to celebrate.
I have a special fondness for flowering trees. Even in the winter, my eyes drift to trees. I love how the architecture of the branches cut the rays of the sun. Add flowers to the mix, and my eyes are drawn into majesty.
This is the time of year that these trees are at their best, in my opinion.
What work does a single branch of the tree do to create this beauty? Could it flower if it were not attached to the tree? It is the roots that reach for the water. It is the trunk that provides stability. The branch could not do this alone. In fact, the branch’s primary role is to let the tree do the work necessary to bring forth the flowers at its tips.
Many people think of the life of following Christ as a life of trying. Striving to be good. Working hard to obey. Serving. Doing. Giving.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit” – John 15:5
Jesus does not say “work hard so you can bear fruit.” He says, “remain in me so you can bear fruit.”
Remain. That’s not one of those exhaust-ing words. It’s a word of passive trust.
I read a great story in the book Having a Mary Spirit. The author writes of Tim Hansel, who was in a New Testament class. The professor asked the students to present their ideas of the most important word in the New Testament. This professor’s answer?
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly. Let your light shine before others.
“Let is a word of transforming faith. Let assumes the total love and power of the Creator. It assumes that heaven is crammed with good gifts the Father wants to give His children. The profoundly simple word let is the gate that opens to that power. It gives God permission to work his might in us.” – Tim Hansel
The most beautiful branches of flowering trees are the ones which let. They let the sun beat down on them. They let water flow from the roots to their tips. They let the gardener prune.
Sure, the branches have a role to play in the flower creation. But all their work is worthless if they don’t let.
Jesus says we need to remain in Him. We are the branches, He is the vine. We have work to do, but it is worthless if we do not let. Our branches will be flowerless unless we let His love flow through our veins.
How would your day be different if your mind remained focused on who you are in Christ? How would your day be different if your heart remained focused on how you are loved by Christ?
Let it happen. Let Christ’s love overwhelm you. Let Christ’s peace comfort you.
Let Christ transform you. And watch the beauty spring forth.
Read the post before this one: A Way of Truth and Life