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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Beyond the Blue Chair

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. 
John 15:2 

Ten years ago, a fearful little girl, tightly curled in a ball on a blue chair, reluctantly pried herself from the safety of its arms, and surrendered herself to the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. In total desperation, hopelessness and resignation, she finally gave up on her life, and checked in, seeking the security and safety that had eluded her for forty six years. She didn’t find those things there, but she did discover a tiny seed of faith.

Life no longer worked. Too many heavy plates to juggle and one last plate tossed in upset the act for good. I was at a loss as to how to finally accept my weaknesses and admit self-sufficiency was not the answer or the way. Going through life, coping and striving for perfection, keeping the mask of the illusion of a “good” Christian woman, finally took its toll.  I’d been a believer and follower of Jesus for over twenty five years, gaining knowledge of truth, learning what to say, and how to act, but genuine relationship with Christ hadn’t happened. The facade crumbled over a period of about two months when I experienced intense anxiety and full-blown, debilitating panic attacks, which only compounded my fears, blind-sided me and rendered me completely nonfunctional. I knew that I was dysfunctional, but had been very capable at maintaining a functional life—until now. Until now, my life, at least on the outside, had every appearance of the cute and perfect little cottage with the white picket fence sporting lovely rose vines. Upon closer inspection, the fence was merely propped up, rotting from the backside and the vines were grasping for solid support.

Little did I realize that the Master Gardener was already at work, gently tending to this frail, weary little branch. He did NOT give up on me by cutting me from the vine, but instead, every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away (which, in the Greek, literally means to lift up, raise, or take up). He was tenderly drawing me closer to The Vine for nourishment and nurturing. And yes, severe pruning, too, to become fit for fruitfulness.   

Lord, thank You for faithfully lifting me up from the miry pit of despair and connecting me to Your life-giving Presence. I choose to believe by faith that apart from You I can do nothing. 

Karen Sims

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