Out on my morning walk the other day, I spotted this sycamore tree with the most amazing branch. I, immediately, thought “what a perfect limb for a swing.” Stuck on the idea of a limb with no swing, my mind continued to wander, which is so often the case as I walk, and landed on a scripture verse from John’s gospel.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
A tree is not a vine but the same principle applies. A tree must have strong roots and proper nourishment in order to support healthy branches. Not all limbs grow straight. This limb must’ve had the right sunlight and nutrients to become the perfect branch for a swing. God and His Word are like the sycamore tree. He is a sure foundation and His Word are the roots running deep providing strength. For the branch to bear fruit or even bear the weight of a swing, the branch must remain connected to the tree and rely on the life sustaining nutrients the tree provides.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Through studying the Bible and following God for many years, my branch has grown and developed. A few kinks reveal the times that I strayed away from God and tried to nourish my own life. But, I’m noticing the longer that I walk with God and draw from His resources how my life bears the fruit that glorifies Him. I am able to support a swing or two in my life with the sustaining strength He gives. Leading bible studies is one of the swings that I do to serve Him and that swing has been quite happily swaying back and forth. But lately, I feel a tug in my spirit. I sense God calling me to more. I don’t know if He is calling me to swing bigger and higher or to change the shape of my swing. The one thing I do know is my need to remain connected to Him. I know my answers will come to light if I continue to pray and above all, listen and discern God’s directions.
I have had times in my life when I didn’t know what God was calling me to do. I didn’t feel that I had a swing to swing because I was so uncertain. I lacked discernment and understanding. My branch felt empty because I was seeking the answers in the wrong way. I longed for God to tell me what my swing would be so I could build that swing and hang it from my branch. However, He was patiently tugging at me to draw near to Him. God knew I needed to build up my branch and strengthen it through His Word in order to discern my call. The swing God wanted and designed for me.
S0 for now, I’m steadily preparing the strength of my branch to support the weight of whatever He has in store for me to do.
What about you? What might God be calling you to do? Is He tinkering with your swing?