Day 302: The Leaves May Die, But The Tree Has Only Begun To Live (October 29)

As I have begun watching the leaves fall from the trees again, I have heard a resounding thought, “The leaves may be dying, but the tree has only begun to live.”  Isn’t it true though, that a tree doesn’t lose it’s leaves as a sign of death, but rather life.  A circling of seasons.  It’s a necessary part of the process.

We are the same.  Some things we carry in our hearts and minds, must die off in order for more of God to fill that space.  If we never let go, how will we grow and develop the newness of Christ?

Have you allowed the old to fall away from your life, or are you clinging to every leaf even though your holding something that is dead and no longer lends a life-giving hand to your life?  Sometimes we say we long for change, but if we’re honest we would admit that if change has anything to do with letting go of the past then we aren’t interested.  If it means forgiving and letting the past lose its grip on our hearts, sometimes we feel that invalidates the magnitude of what had happened.  I have learned through personal experience that this is a trick.  A lie.  The enemy wants nothing to do with you moving on.  No, it serves him much better for you to hold on long and hard to past hurts because he resides in the bitterness and can twist your thoughts into a tangled mess.

Imagine a trees roots attempting to grow, but one is holding onto something.  It would cause a tangling.  This is where some of us are today.

I know you don’t want to be this way.  Why not let go?  Today could be the day that you lay down your right to be angry and hurt.  I bet you never realized that true freedom comes from letting all that go.  It doesn’t invalidate any wrong thing that’s happened to you, but it does bring you the power to move forward.  Forgiveness is a most powerful weapon against the enemy.

You may be saying, “But _____ doesn’t deserve forgiveness!”  My reply is simply this, “Neither did you when Jesus died on the cross for you.  In fact, you didn’t even know Him yet.  But He did it anyway.  Even though He knew every wrong thing you would ever do, He died.”  Who are we to hold onto a grudge against anyone?  God isn’t asking us to do anything He’s not already done.  We love because He first loved us.  We forgive because He first forgave us too.

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because He first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And He has given us this command:  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.  1 John 4:16b-21