Saturday, January 8, 2011
A YEAR OF ABIDING
I took my dog for a walk a few days ago in Colorado where I live. It's winter here now and on that day it was sunny and wonderfully warm. We walked together on a path that takes us by a park and much to my surprise there were no kids on the swing set.
So I decided to take a swing! Haven't done that in years. It felt so free and for a moment all my troubles fell away. I was at peace; I felt young again. There was such a depth to that feeling that it brought tears to my eyes. And God spoke to me in that moment and said: "See, my child, this is how I want you to feel with me every day!"
I know God wants us to approach His thrown freely - to have the faith of a child and to know His arms are always open. I do have the freedom to go to my Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere, even on a swing! But many times I try to do it all myself - and in that I often feel trapped. When I am ruled by schedules, work, chores etc., it is quite often that I grow resentful.
I want to live each moment in the freedom of Christ. Freedom from worry, anxiety, pain, frustration, envy, jealousy, and I could go on. But life is not like that - I believe Heaven will be more like that.
In the meantime, I can be free to love as Christ loved; to strive to be kind and gentle. Also, to be free to pray with confidence that He hears me. And to try to: "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ."
In John 15, Christ speaks about abiding in Him, remaining in His love, obeying His commands and having joy that is complete. I felt joy on that swing that afternoon. In that moment an overwhelming sense of joy came over me as I felt fully held in God's hands. Here is where I make the choice to focus only on Him. That is what abiding is! John 15:4 says: "No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." It's so hard to remain with Him when the world pulls you in so many different directions!
If abiding in Him results in joy, I want that in my life! Just to live in the moment and in Him. This is a New Year and an opportunity to start anew. This year I choose to walk with Him day by day and moment by moment. I know I will have many times when I fail at this. I'm certainly not perfect. I know this will be a challenge for me, remember the world?
God has put this on my heart to at least try. I know that when my efforts fail He will still draw me near with His grace and mercy. And so:
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1