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Shake Off The Support
by David Ritchie
07/27/03
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Supported Too Long

I got two trees from my brother and as they looked good I gave them a prominent place in my garden. About a year later one was not growing. I could not explain it but I noticed part of the trunk was much thicker than the rest of the trunk. On closer examination I noticed a shiny dot, which after poking a little I realised was the end of a piece of wire.

I got a pliers and a knife and eventually got hold of the end and gently pulled. It went right round the trunk totally buried in the body of the tree.

What happened? The wire was a support to the tree when it was a young sapling, but as the tree grew, the support began to slowly bite into the trunk until it was out of sight. As the trunk expanded, the wire support bit in so much that it split the bark allowing infection to set in, resulting in the death of the tree.

There is a lesson in that story for every one of us. Each one is either a support to someone else, or someone else is supporting us in our Christian walk. In fact we are both supporting and being supported at the same time.

There comes a time when the support has done its job and needs to be taken away in order for the young tree to flourish and be the mighty tree God planned it to be.

While it is young the support stopped it from breaking in the big storms. Yet it gave it enough freedom to sway in the wind strengthening it for the day it would outgrow the support and stand-alone.

Take the support away too quick and the young tree will snap or be uprooted in the wind. Leave the support too long and we have just read the devastation it causes. Who are you supporting, who is supporting you? Are you holding / being held too tight or too long.

We need to examine our relationships in our families/churches/work places.

Are we being held in an iron grip unable to move anymore?
Is that thing in our lives which was a vital support at one point, now suffocating the life out of us?

Are we doing that to others, or are we cutting the support at the right time and allowing people to flourish and grow in God?

Parents can keep their children dependant when they should have let go.

Pastors can keep a grip on people when they should let them go and flourish in their own ministry.

We can all enjoy the support for too long because it is cosy, we are being sheltered, and someone else is protecting us. Not if the wire is beginning to bite!!! You don't feel it too much at first. Only a little discomfort. But as I had to use a knife and a pliers to get the wire out in an attempt to save the tree, so it will be with us if we do not remove the supports at the right time and stand on our own two feet.

One old man from my home church said that in the Christian walk we are either carrying someone or being carried ourselves. No one has exactly enough for themselves. Sometimes we have to support others and at other times we need to be supported. Let us make sure that our support is relevant to the situation and only for the time it is required.




If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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