We have tiptoed through the beginning of 2023. If your inbox is like mine, it remains full of sparkling ideas:
How to be the Best You!
How to lose thirty pounds in as many days!
How to check off items on your bucket list in 2023!
As pastor’s wives, the last thing we need is to be weighted down with more fresh ideas. What our souls really need, and desperately crave, are the ancient, holy paths. More time spent before God, digging deeply into the treasure of Scripture, as we seek to love and honor our Creator.
A brand-new year in ministry often feels daunting to our flesh, doesn’t it? Christmas and its thunderous pace, with more church events, more visitors, and sometimes fewer members, who have either fallen sick or are traveling. Add to this the tasks of shopping for our own families, planning gatherings that entail greater budgetary expenses, while keeping watch over our exhausted pastor-husband.
Honestly? If you are at all like me, the only thing you desire at this point in time is to curl up with a blanket in front of a roaring fireplace and succumb to either a peaceful movie or a delicious book.
By the time the winds of December have blown through, and January emerges, we have scarcely caught our breath. And now? New church programs are underway, requiring fresh energy and focused attention. Never mind that we still feel jet-lagged; exhausted.
What shall we do?
While it is not possible to erase every item on our to-do list, may I encourage you to pause, take a few hours, and circle back around to truth, found only in God’s Word. May we consider: What does God desire of us, as pastor’s wives?
The same thing that he asks of all of his followers: Abide in me.
John 15:4-8 says:
“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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
Our good fruit comes from the Spirit, not ourselves, as we follow his prompting and become more like Christ through abiding in God and obeying his Word.
We do not have to strive to be our best selves, or lose extra pounds, or obey those bucket lists that are nowhere to be found in Scripture.
Instead, as disciples of Christ, we are called to lose our lives, in order that we might find them. (Matthew 10:39)
We are instructed to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses, and follow Jesus. (Matthew 16:24)
What does this look like, practically speaking?
I have discovered two main ways to abide in the Lord. First, I intentionally spend far more time soaking in the Scriptures, losing myself there, rather than wasting so much as a minute on social media. And secondly? I have chosen to prioritize prayer, communing with God, rather than spending hours managing personal goals, bucket lists, and agendas.
These two simple changes grow a deep spiritual intimacy that is pleasing to God and soul-satisfying to our weary bones.
Abide. And only then will you truly live.