Today we move further up the tree to consider the branches. But before you do so, read these verses from John’s Gospel:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
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.
Remain in me, as I also 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.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15: 1,2,4,5,6.(NIV)
Now bearing in mind these verses, consider the branches on your tree. Are they full of healthy new shoots and leaves? Are they bare and barren? Are they storm damaged and weather beaten? Is there any dead wood? Are there any missing branches and if so what are they? Has there been any pruning/is there a need for pruning? Jot down the keys words and themes for you, on the branches of the tree you have drawn.
Finally, read the following verses from Jeremiah and be encouraged that, whatever the current state of our branches, we can have confidence and hope.
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.”
Jeremiah 17: 7 & 8 New Living Translation