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Some Thoughts on Being a Branch

Buddy, the branch, was very unhappy: What good am I? I’m just hanging here, not learning to do anything on my own and I can’t do a single thing without consulting with the vine. He thinks he is so important! He’s always right! Hey, I have some talents, too, but do I get to use them? Oh, no, I’m totally dependent! That’s what I am and I hate being dependent on someone else. I have my own dreams to live and wonderful visions to accomplish.

Complain, complain, complain. Then, one day some men come and cut off some of the branches on the tree and put them in a big truck and carry them away. Buddy thought: Look! They’ve been set free! If only I were free like that! What I could do on my own! People would know who “Buddy the branch” was or my name ain’t Chuckawallabillredfield! I can promise you that! Oh, brother! Those branches were so happy to be set free from this life of being a nobody. They were all clapping their hands and waving. What fun! I wish that truck would come back and get me.

In spite of the fact that Buddy was a male, he was not thinking pragmatically as most of the male species is prone to do. (Pragmatic: testing the validity of all concepts by their practical results) There were some facts of which our leafy friend was not aware:

  1. A branch dies when it is not attached to its “life” source, the vine.
  2. The only strength a branch has comes from the vine.
  3. A branch cannot bear fruit apart from the vine. What a silly picture that is—a branch struggling to produce fruit! Of all the groaning and grunting and sweating—to no avail! I’ve been there.
  4. A branch loses all its beauty when separated from the vine.
  5. The truck takes the “happy little” branches and grinds them up and uses them for compost.

Is your name “Buddy”? Mine was for years. I would read the verses that talk about the vine and the branches and my impotence and promptly pick up my purse and head out the door to “produce some fruit.” As a female I tend to think “subjectively” instead of “pragmatically.” Look at those people. They are so happy, and they are accomplishing so much FOR the Lord. I can do that! Look out world! Here comes Anabel.

I finally heard what the Lord was saying to me: “Anabel, sweet thing, without Me you can do nothing.” “But, Lord, I do some things quite well!” “Get out your dictionary, Anabel, and look up the meaning of the word, nothing. Tell Me, Honey, what does it mean?” “It means: 1) no thing, not anything 2) nothingness 3) something that does not exist 4) a person or thing considered of little or no importance 5) a zero. It means . . . well, it means nothing.” “Now do you understand, dear child?” “Yes, Lord. I understand. I can try to be something or someone on my own; I can try to produce fruit and accomplish great dreams and visions for You. But, the truth of the matter is this: Anything that I do has no beauty or lasting endurance. Without You, I can do nothing.”

That’s approaching the scripture pragmatically and applying it both pragmatically and subjectively to my walk with the Lord. By the way, I’ve changed my name from “Buddy” to “Clinger.” I’m the “clinging vine” type now, and I’ve grown to love every minute of it! (See John 15: 2-6 / II Corinthians 3:5)

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.