Being a Branch Means More Than You Know!

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I’ve never given it as much thought as I did this morning. As I sat in my swing, looking out at the row of hardwoods that run across an area of our land, I thought: “How massive and strong and immovable they are! The crowns are so large and full, and because they are so close to each other, their branches are all intertwined. One tree seems to give support to another tree with branches stretching across to the branches of another.”

Something about the sight of those trees all bunched in close, holding each other up, made me realize … you try to take one down, and you will damage another. There is no way for one to be brought down without other trees being significantly impacted. There was something sweet to me about that thought, too. I know it’s because of all the love and support Rip and I have received lately from such precious friends and family bunching in close with our life. Through phone calls, personal visits, text messages, private messages, emails, and snail mail we have felt the “branches” of the Vine who are reaching out and intertwining with our lives to give support to us through prayer and comfort. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5  –  Many of you have been right where we are as a family, and now you are comforting us as you have been comforted….and that means the world! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God,” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Being a branch means more than you know!

But as I gave thought to the support of the “branches”, my attention drew down to the invisible…to the private and unseen life of the trees.

Their roots.

With any tree, the root system is double the size of the crown. So as I imagined the roots of just one tree, I saw the circumference in my minds-eye has being simply tremendous! Deep and wide. That immediately spoke to me – that what people may see in my life is only to be the evidence {the fruit} of a much greater private unseen life with Jesus…which is time with Him in prayer and bible study.

But then, I couldn’t help but ponder about the “root life” of the trees, once again, intertwining themselves together. If you try to remove the root system of any one tree (which, by the way, is virtually impossible without damaging it terribly), you will definitely injure the roots of all the trees that have joined together in the “system of roots.”

The “root life” is THE life of the trees! Even the joining and crossing-over and meshing together of the root systems gives one hundred times more strength to the trees because it’s the root system that not only “gives life” to trees, but it “sustains life.” This is why we read about this in Hebrews when it addresses the “system of the church“, “Do not forsake the assembling together as some are in the habit of doing, but encourage one another all the more as  you see the Day approaching,” (vs 10:25)

Y’all, this is to YOU…those people who are sharing in the “branch and root life” of my family. You are grieving with us, praying with us, caring, supporting, giving verses of hope and praying down heaven with us. That is WHY we are experiencing the comfort of our God. God comforts us to renewed strength, (as He has comforted you), and we are feeling HIS strengthening comfort from His branches … you. He provides through His branches, His people.

As I opened my Bible to read today’s Proverb – Proverb 12 – I was amazed at what I read! What I found after having such a reflective time with God about His trees…His roots…His branches, brought a smile to my face because I knew He was right there as usual, meeting with me in my swing. I read: “…the root of the righteous is immovable.” (Proverbs 12:3) And, “…the root of the righteous produces fruit.” (Proverbs 12:12)  And, “…the house of the righteous will stand.” (Proverbs 12:7) And, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 11:30) That last verse was from yesterday’s Proverb, but it tells how the fruit of a person who lives with their roots in righteousness, their life is hidden in the nourishing fellowship of the Lord so that their life influences, supports, encourages spiritual health, and nourishes the lives of many! This “tree of life” is not the same “tree of life” we find in heaven, but it is symbolic of the abundance of spiritual nourishment that our lives experiences as we walk in His righteousness day after day.

It wasn’t until after the Holy Spirit spoke these truths to me, that I wanted to see what a commentary or two may say on these Proverbs. I was in awe of the the counsel of the Spirit, once again, as I read Matthew Henry’s thoughts:

The true believer is a branch of the living Vine. The righteous are as trees of life; and their influence upon earth, like the fruits of that tree, support and nourish the spiritual life in others. That which the righteous say and do is, as it were, a fruitful tree which delights and feeds many. – Matthew Henry

If you are going through a terrible trial, a very difficult test, a heartache or any circumstance that literally attempts to deplete your faith and challenge your beliefs, then may I encourage you to pray and ask God to bring into your life His “branches” – those people who can truly offer comfort, strength and support in the way you need most. He will provide them. I can assure you of that. It’s His way. And if you know of someone who is currently facing a situation where you have already been, be the branch they need. Extend yourself to them in such a way that they feel the Vine of hope through you. God, again, will provide for their needs through you … if you are willing. It’s His way.

Rip and I are so grateful for you, a beloved branch of the living Vine. If we could, we’d hug each and every one of you just to “Thank you.” Your continued prayers mean the world…and we want you to know, we are praying for you, too. Every prayer need that comes to our attention, is being prayed over. And if you want us and our team to pray for you, please go to the prayer community on this website, create a log-in and post your prayer request. Every time your prayer request is prayed for, you will be notified with an email. Y’all, the devil does not want us praying! He knows that’s where all battles are won. He knows that a praying Christian is a POWERFUL Christian because we are summoning the power of Almighty God. So let’s not give him an inch in distracting us from prayer.

I love you very much and thank my God upon every remembrance of you!



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lisa rippy


  1. Libby Williams on May 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    You and Rip are loved by so many “rooted” people and most of all by God Himself. It’s so sweet to see the body of Christ build each other up in our most holy faith. Our God is awesome!

  2. Lisa on May 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    He surely is, Libby! God knows … He just knows what we need and what others need through us. There’s no way to deny His intimacy in our lives.

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