A few months ago, I was offered the opportunity to go from four days a week to fulltime. I was hesitant, I loved my extra day off in the middle of the week, but agreed that in this season of ministry it was a good thing to do. I’ll be the first to admit it’s been hard, but I am learning how to handle the extra responsibilities at work, and the more limited time at home.
The word abide has been resonating in my heart. I have seen it around in random places, coming up in my Instagram feed, books I am reading, my Bible reading plan. I’ve enjoyed sitting with this word and pondering the depths of its meaning.
The word abide draws me to the character of God.
Among Jesus' last words recorded on earth before he ascended to heaven was the promise of his presence. Even when we don't feel God's presence, He is with us. Regardless of our awareness, His Spirit dwells in all those who have put their faith in Him.
This truth is hugely comforting. Wherever I go, whatever is happening, whether I am conscious of it or not, God is with me. I am never alone.
Jesus’ presence invites me to rest my weary soul. In the relentless busyness, this is a welcome invitation. God isn’t calling me to constant activity and exhaustion. He calls me to work hard, with purpose and passion, and then to stop and rest. To hand over to Him the burdens and cares of my heart, and trust in Him where I have no more capacity of my own.
As mothers, we get pretty good at being a comforter. It's one of our priorities as a loving parent. We comfort our crying infant, trying to work out if they are hot or cold, hungry, tired or hurting. We comfort upset toddlers who are learning to walk, learning to share, learning to wait. Expressions of comfort and love are constantly on our lips and in our open arms. But eventually, years later, our children don’t turn to us for comfort in quite the same way, and not nearly as often.
But in learning independence and self-sufficiency we lose the value of turning to God for the comfort we need in times of worry and anxiety. Instead, we turn to food, to alcohol, work, exercise, or sex. All the things that may make us feel better in the short-term but will never satisfy. Abiding in Him draws me to find comfort in Him.
Oh, how I want with all of my heart to be fruitful! I want my life to mean something bigger than myself, for all the effort and sacrifice to make an impact on a hurting world for the Kingdom of God. I want my life to count. Abide in me, remain in me, connect with me because apart from me you can do nothing. Nothing. Ouch!
If I want my life to count. If I want to make an impact for the Kingdom of God. If fruitfulness is the cry of my heart, I need to abide in Him, rest in His presence and find comfort in His love for me. When I am fully reliant on the source of life, my life will be fruitful.
The best way to abide is to engage with scripture each day. By reading the Bible we invite the wisdom of God’s words into our heart and mind, transforming us from the inside.
I’ve developed a great tool to help you Abide in God’s Word each day. It is a 30 day Bible Reading Plan, with verses each day that will help you spend time in God’s presence and hear His voice. Download your 30 day Bible Reading Plan today.