When we moved into our home five years ago, the builder planted a tree about ten foot tall in the front yard. At the arrival of our second spring here as the tree started to get new leaves, I noticed the very top of the main trunk looked bad. Everything trying to grow from there was yellow and dying. All the branches below were green and thriving.
After I was convinced it was not going to recover, I got a ladder and cut the main trunk off just before the next healthy branch. That particular year, the tree looked a bit odd. But by the next year, two of the branches had grown straight up, taking the place of the main trunk. The healthy leaves of those branches started to cover the scarred, dead trunk top.
Today, we have a very healthy 20-foot tall tree in our front yard. The branches and green leaves reach straight up to the sky, looking as strong as any other tree in the neighborhood.
But, if you get right under it on the right side and look straight up, inside all that new growth and health, you’ll see where the main trunk was cut off and never recovered. But you have to know where to look, because the new growth covers it all. In fact, I’m probably the only person who even knows or remembers this tree had a bad year and has a sizable scar on its primary trunk—and where to find it.
There is a strong likelihood that you, just like me, have a major scar somewhere in your past. A place where someone or something had to be cut off, cut away. You felt you lost something in the process and it was painful and it looked pretty rough for a while. Maybe you’re in that situation right now. Maybe your scar is still showing. Maybe its still an open wound.
The great and comforting news is when we allow God to be our Gardener, the pain still comes, but new growth is a given. Because He alone knows where to cut. You can look back and know where the scar is, but you look at your life today and just see new life reaching up to the sky, taller than ever, healthier than you ever thought possible.
In fact, the only way our lives can be truly beautiful to others is when God’s saw marks are on our soul.
“I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. —John 15:1 NCV