Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4-5
Abide in me, and I in you…..
Abide in me, and I in you…….
It has taken many years for me to begin to understand this concept. Many times my lessons are learned by so much faithful repetition on the part of my Lord.
Abide means to sit, remain, dwell, await, sojourn, encamp.
I understand all the words but what does that look like in my life? How do I do any of those things in Him?
My eyes review the list again. These words are equally about remaining as they are about moving. Going forward. Staying put. Traveling our path. Driving in our tent stakes and staying awhile.
It makes sense when I think about it. This mighty God moving everywhere in power and strength is the same one who never leaves me. He is at once beautifully fluid and yet perfectly stationary. The one who moves the mountains is the same God who I trust as my solid foundation.
He calls me to abide. To remain in Him ~ in both my comings and my goings. There again I trip, as I try to wrap my head around five letters. In Him.
Certainly it sounds closer than being with Him, by Him, or around Him. In Him is such a vivid picture of the intimate life He calls me to. A life fully immersed in this one I call Lord.
I have to smirk at myself a little as I realize that sounds a bit like I’m implying I have it all together. Trust me when I say that nothing could be further from the truth. I am a woman daily in need of the forgiveness of my Savior.
A dear friend often reminds me to remain in His love. There is no sweeter place to be. No safer place. So there I stay. Whether, I am having a day rich in victory or a day where I am looking for the reset button and am needing to go to the Lord in humble repentance.
In all things I am in Him.
He is in me.
This is possible only because God Himself took on flesh, walked among us, laid down His life, took our sins on Himself, died on the cross, was laid in a tomb and rose again.
He hasn’t called me to a life of half truths and half hearted semi-following. Nor has he called me to a life of self righteous living where I struggle and strain to earn my way into His good graces. No. The first would leave me wanting and lost. The latter would find me unable and defeated.
Instead, He has called me to a place where I understand that He is the Only way. He has called me to know His character. He has called me to give all of myself because He gave all of Himself.
He has called me to be a branch attached and dependent on the one life giving and eternal vine.
I think back to our first tomato plant this summer. It amazed me to watch the perfect green orbs spring forth on that vine. The joy of watching them ripen in the summer sun was second only to their bright flavor and the pleasure I took in eating something I watched my husband water and care for every day.
Had I cut the branches and left them on the sidewalk they wouldn’t have brought forth any fruit. Or if fruit had already been present it would have failed to ripen and the gift it was intended to be would never have come to pass.
Attached to the nutrient rich vine the branches grew and bore fruit that we enjoyed for months. These little tomatoes weren’t all ripe at the same time. Some were red while their neighbors were green but eventually the vine brought them all they needed to ripen and be harvested.
My affections were drawn to the beauty of the fruit but I am wise to remember the necessity of the vine and I am grateful for the sustaining life found there.
Both for my tiny tomatoes and for my own wandering heart.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9