Today, after nineteen years of living in our home, we had our last sun-blocking tree cut down in the backyard. What was once an ordinary size tree had now become a gigantic, overgrown, problematic tree.
The tree had grown so tall and broad that the limbs were hanging over the roof, and what used to provide welcoming shade had become a homeowner’s nightmare.
According to the professionals, the tree caused a moist bearer on the roof’s back side due to the hanging limbs, which also damaged the gutters and wood in that same area. Ouch! Something else to repair!
But as I thought about the damage the tree caused, God redirected my thinking toward life circumstances and relationships. God revealed to me that relationships and even life, in general, are like our overgrown tree. We have small problems that we do not address, and over time (years), that problem gets bigger and bigger, such as our tree.
However, when the issue gets out of hand, we decide it’s time to do something. Instead of fixing the problem when it’s a molehill, we wait until it becomes a mountain.
Our tree had become a problem for us. It was too large, hanging on the roof, damaging the wood, gutters, and shingles. The tree had grown passed my husband’s desire to cut himself.
Instantly God said, “What about life, relationships, work?”
Relationship problems! Are you seeking professional help to end your marriage?
Work conflict! Are you looking for another job?
Health issues! Are you still avoiding the idea of exercising?
Have your problems become greater than you’d like to handle?
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9 NIV
But what about pruning our issue? I said to my husband, “Why don’t we prune the tree? It’s a beautiful tree that provides a lot of shade for the patio!”
So I ask, could you prune your issue instead of cutting it down? What do you prune I asked God? He said, “Your pride, ego, selfishness, inability to listen, compromise, or use self-control!”
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20 NIV
What about professional help to heal your marriage?
What about searching for personal accountability in your workplace conflict?
What about changing the way you eat and start exercising a couple of days a week?
Cutting down your issue may not always be the best option. But if we ask God for His help and guidance through the Holy Spirit, He will help us correctly prune our problems individually and collectively, so we look like the body of Christ!
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalms 32:8 NIV
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 NIV
So, if at all possible, try to look at your problem with pruning eyes. What self-work can you do internally, demonstrating it externally!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
In the Awesome, Mighty name of Jesus Christ! ~ Amen