The Maple and the Vine

Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14–18

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“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1)

Since the ditch bank was hard to mow, it had become overgrown with weeds, vines, and small trees over the course of several years. One day, armed with a chain saw and trimmer, I tackled the overgrown bank. I found a maple sapling whose trunk was painfully knotted and twisted in a spiraling pattern. Encircling the tender trunk was a tough, ugly brown vine that had been restricting and contorting the tree’s growth for many months.  

This vine had not always looked so ugly. Back in those early days when the sapling was but a slender twig, the vine had emerged beside it, tender and beautiful. These two young plants must have been a striking pair growing up side by side—the sapling slim and straight, the vine delicate and leafy! Then the vine coyly brushed the sapling, slipping a curling tendril around its base. If the young tree had been capable of sensation, it might hardly have noticed the vine’s encircling movement. It might even have enjoyed the companionable attention. As time went on, the vine strengthened and tightened its grip, even as the young maple struggled to grow and expand its girth, gradually becoming what it was when I found it.  

We understand the wisdom of God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 15:33, which says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” The young maple had no choice who its companion would be, but we are free to choose. Let us do so with care.  

Take care when choosing a friend, for he may determine your end. 

From Paws on My Porch, by Gary Miller
© 2015 TGS International, PO Box 355, Berlin, Ohio 44610
Used by permission.


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