A brother used this illustration throughout his talk recently. Of course, it was meant to cause guilt in people like me or anybody else who might be prone to feeling guilty anyhow.
I approached him afterwards and said that he was speaking disparagingly of God's arrangement. He knows I'm a kidder so he asked "how so?" I said that the very existence of bumps on logs is God's doing. Many of those bumps were once fruit-bearing branches, like himself, that had simply run their course. And so had the tree run its' course. It was obviously down or it would be a "bump on a tree."
I put on my most self-righteous, Stillin-counsels-the-brother act for him and suggested that he give it some thought. He took it in good humor, but I hope it sinks in a little further.