Here goes nothing, as I tell myself that March 1st is the new January 1st I sit here trembling, out of excuses, and promise myself I will hit ‘publish’ today. No matter what.
I will write to be faithful. Faithful to all whom have encouraged me to do so, faithful to myself; just as exercise has its benefits in the physical, writing has unmeasurable benefits to both heart and mind. I will write to be faithful to faith itself.
The thought for ‘abandoned abiding’ came out of a seminary research project in which we were assigned to thoroughly exegete the 15th chapter of John versus 1-11. The passage reads: (Using the New Revised Standard Version)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”
From that project on I knew for the rest of my life this side of heaven-I was going to wrestle with what Jesus was/is really teaching here. Jesus loves me this I know, I love Him, I’d like it to show. Abandoned abiding is a mantra of sorts: an unrestrained, uninhibited prayer of remembrance. A bringing to mind these word promises of Jesus Christ the Messiah.
I was reminded the other day just how quickly we seek to demonstrate our independence in this world. As my husband and I were hovering, spotting incessantly as our daughter Joy just 16 months old was confidently lowering herself off of the couch she looks to us and says, “I got this.”
Thankfully we all have a perfect, loving, gracious Father that clings to us with His mighty right hand and invites us to hang on and says, “We got this.”