A Dried Up and Dying Tree
I recently limbed out and then cut down a tree in our backyard. Its upper extremities were mostly dead and dried out. However, the lower down towards the root I got, the more solid, living, and filled with life-giving fluids the tree seemed to be. But no matter. By cutting it up and separating it down into fireplace-long pieces, I know that all of it, over time, will become more deadened, dried out, and fit only for the fire. It seems to me that Jesus said something very reminiscent of that, regarding His disciples in John 15:1-10.
The fact is that right now, many of us as Christians are hurting pretty badly because of our Corona virus-induced separation from one another. We miss working, worshipping, serving, studying, and simply seeing and being together with one another, to encourage and feed off one another as the family of God here in Chouteau – as well we should! You see, as a local body of God’s redeemed people, God never meant nor intended for us to be socially, spiritually, physically, or geographically distanced, separated, or cut off from one another for any length of time (Acts 2:37-42, 44-47, 20:7-8; Col. 3:12-16; Hebs. 10:23-25).
The Bible very clearly explains how God Himself designed the body (or church – Eph. 1:22-23) of Christ, to function just like a physical body; how vitally important it is that we always maintain our closeness and interaction with one another within the spiritual body of Christ, just as a physical body depends on all of its different parts to act and interact together as one, in order for it to live, thrive, and survive (Rom. 12:3-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:11-16). We all know that a severed thumb, finger, or any other limb (albeit a human, plant, or animal one) cannot long live, thrive, or survive, apart from its attachment to, and interaction with, the rest of the body.
So; if you are feeling a deep and abiding sense of loss and loneliness due to your currently being cut off and separated from your spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ right now, know that that is a really good thing. Pain is an indicator that something is wrong. However, if you either have, or are becoming accustomed to and feeling quite comfortable with being cut off and separated from your spiritual siblings, then please know that it is only then, when it no longer pains or bothers you, that you could be in some real, serious, spiritual trouble (Rom. 1:8-12; Phil. 1:3-8, 4:1; Col. 2:1-3; Phlm. 1:4-7)… you know, sort of like a dead, dried up, cut-off branch, looking quite natural and comfortable in a soon to be burned up woodpile?