The heart… a place where dreams are nurtured, emotions are sheltered, and excitement dances; a place where love is deepened and hopes can spring anew.
The heart can be shattered by one word or mended by one touch. It begins its growth as does a tree… layer… by gentle layer.
The life of the tree is its roots, planted deep within the soil. The life of the heart is He who created its sanctuary.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
A young tree’s trunk is flexible, blown by the winds and shaped by those stronger than it. If it was planted well, it continues to root itself deeper into the life-giving soil, growing and becoming strengthened with each passing year.
As our hearts mature, they also are shaped and influenced by our environment; and depending on whether those influences are healthy or not, our heart may grow strong and resilient or diseased and poisonous.
Each layer represents something necessary to continued growth. If one part becomes infected, the whole tree will perish if not treated.
It requires pruning in order to remain healthy and productive. Our hearts, also, require pruning, so that the things that don’t belong there may be clipped away and new, fruitful growth may begin.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2
Each year, a tree is given the opportunity to pass into another springtime, in which new buds may blossom, grow and become fruitful. Each day we are alive, we are given the same opportunity.
It is the strong tree that can bear the harsh winter. It is the faithful heart that can weather the storm.