Tuesday, July 17th
Read: John 15: 1-11
Remember: “Jesus gives us everything we need to push back the darkness. He gently binds us to Himself. When we rest in Him, when we abide in Him, He brings us into a fruit-producing life that feeds and nourishes others. Fruit never grows from our efforts alone; it grows according to the measure we let God grow it in us.” Rebekah Lyons
What does "resting in the Lord" look like to you? Take a second to think about it. What visual comes to your mind? My first thought of complete rest is of a baby, sound asleep, wrapped in his mother's arms. This little one has everything he needs: comfort, security, love, and more. I think this is what Jesus longs for us when He says, "Come to Me" and "Abide in Me". When we allow the Lord to wrap His arms around us, we too can be like a trusting child. We feel His embrace through believing in His promises. We feel His strength when when we relax in His plans. Last week, I experienced a couple of "disappointing no's" that both my husband and I thought might be "hopeful yes's." Quite honestly, it felt like two quick punches in the gut right in a row. By God's His sweet design, this was our week in Soul Sisters to read the chapter Free to Wait. And now, He is carrying me further by using this week's chapter, Free to Rest. The question is, "Will I choose to rest in God concerning these disappointments? Will I trust the Lord with my life path, His time, His way?" I may be confused by His sovereign plans, but I must remember He is NEVER confused, and He is ALWAYS good. Today, I'm asking for His knowledge to engulf my unknowns, and for His peace to invade my questioning heart. I want to rest like a faith-filled child in His arms.
Spend some time this morning reflecting on what "resting in/abiding in" the Lord means to you. Let’s share together. Does an image or a Bible verse come to mind? If this is the answer to true freedom, why not really ask God to show us how to abide in Him. Like the parent/child analogy, another image of resting that Rebekah Lyons shared was the picture of the leaf with the vine completely wrapped around it (pp 139-141, also, in the picture below). How can we apply this analogy to our personal lives with Christ?
I ask for Your lovingkindness to wrap around me. I need You. Please help me to breathe your Spirit in, and then, help me to breathe out confusion and disappointment. Help my soul to rest as I dwell on Your promises. Renew my faith into a childlike state so that I can believe these simple truths once again: You know me, You love me, and You care for me, every day. Please whisper these words and others to me while I just sit here and take them in. Yes Lord Jesus, let me hear You say to me, "Abide in Me, and I in you". Come in my Savior, so my soul can rest. In Your Name. Amen