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Falling Leaves

Did you know that leaves do not fall off trees? Yep! That’s right. And you might come back with, “Oh, yeah? Come to my yard and if I gave you a penny for every fallen leaf you raked up you’d be driving a Porsche!” 1 If any of you had the privilege of listening to Ron Dunn’s teaching, this story about falling leaves was one of his “word pictures” that made a lasting impact on me.

Cut a limb off a tree in the summer time and leave it there on the ground until next spring. The tree that you cut the limb from will shed its leaves come fall and there will be new growth come spring. But look at the limb you cut off. The leaves are still on it and there will be no tiny green buds. What happened? Why didn’t the leaves fall off the branch?

It is amazing. The leaves don’t “fall” off the mother tree: They are pushed off by tiny new growth buds coming out and forcing them off. And what causes the new growth? The sap in the tree. There is no “life” in that branch on the ground. There is no “force” to push the leaves off with new buds pushing on those dead, brown leaves for all they’re worth. “Hey! Get out of the way. It’s time for me to come through.” No. There aren’t even any new buds to apply pressure. Remember this: There is no LIFE in that branch because it has been severed from its source.

What a perfect analogy of the vine and the branches that Jesus used as a word picture to teach us what it means to stay attached to the vine by faith. Only then will our “dead works” be pushed out of the way and new growth will come—growth brought about by the life of the Vine dwelling within. He says, “Anabel, without Me you can accomplish absolutely nothing. You may look like you’re okay, but you’re separated from Me and when that happens, you’re like a branch that has been cut off from the tree.”

Thank You, dear Father, for using such simple teaching for your children, who need such simple stories to say, “Oh, I understand it now!”

1 By the way: Rake all of those dry leaves in a big, big pile and let your kids run and jump in them. Fun, fun! I ran and “jumped” with my grandkids. (My jump was almost two inches off the ground and my landing was a calculated choked throttle easy maneuver. They didn’t know. They just thought Granma was great!)

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.