“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me.”John 15:4
In the midst of social unrest, injustices coming to light, financial hardships, fear of losing our health, and any other stressors this year has brought our way, I keep hearing the same word whispered over and over to me. “Abide.”
Over the past several months, there has been an overwhelming amount of information streaming into our lives. When the news portrays yet another heartbreaking injustice, when one more friend gets COVID-19, when uncertainty about our family’s financial and living situation comes up again, it’s so much easier to go into auto-pilot mode. In an attempt to escape, I switch on a TV series, indulge in something easy and mind-numbing, or stay busy in the name of productivity— but with the heart of apathy. In doing this, I ignore the social issues around me, the injustices in my city, the sickness plaguing neighbors and friends, or the impending struggles that are headed our family’s and neighbors’ ways.
And yet Jesus keeps whispering to me, “Abide.”
If you are like me and have been living under a faint cloud of confusion and doubt that is manifesting itself in apathy and fear over the past few months, I want to encourage you. Abide in Jesus. Remain in Jesus.
This morning I took an inventory of all of the ways I’ve been allowing myself to run to things that numb me rather than prepare and equip me for loving my neighbors and sharing the Gospel. My list went something like: binging TV shows, reading fiction for escape, spending hours a day on social media, re-organizing closets, baking new recipes, indulging in chocolate, and on and on.
Although many of the things on my list are not bad things in and of themselves, the way I have been using them is where sin has entered. After taking this inventory, I stopped, confessed, and repented. Then I prayed John 15:1-8. I encourage you to do the same.
Take an inventory of ways you’ve been distracted by less important things. Pray. Confess your weakness to Jesus. Repent of running from Him and allowing yourself to be fearful or apathetic. Ask for the Holy Spirit to convict you and supernaturally change you from the inside.
As we set our eyes on Jesus and abide in Him, may we walk in obedience, find community and accountability with other sisters, and “act justly, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8). We cannot do this in our own strength. May every stress, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty drive us closer to the Vine, the source of all life, peace, justice, and love.