A B I D E. This word has been circling around my heart and mind lately…with all the changes in the world, this seems to help me feel grounded in what is good and holy in my life…”
ABIDE HAS A COUPLE DEFINITIONS.
First, it means to accept or act in accordance with a rule. We all have new “rules” or guidelines in our lives in response to Covid-19. Wear masks, stay home, stay 6 feet away from each other - and while these are good guidelines for us and those around us - they are hard rules to follow for a people created to be in community. So we ABIDE. We follow the rules and work deep in our guts to manage the anxiety and grief it sparks. It’s hard.
Secondly, it means we are unable to tolerate someone or something. We can’t abide by something. This isn’t where my heart is at…so we will just leave this one alone.
THE THIRD MEANING - AND THE ONE THAT REMAINS IN MY HEART IS RELATED TO FEELINGS…
A B I D E means to continue without fading or being lost…to live…to dwell. This is the feeling and emotion in my heart. I keep thinking of John 15…abide in me. Jesus reminds us of what it means to be a branch…we need the vine to grow and thrive and bear fruit. We need the gardener to till the soil, to prune the branches and to cut away what is dead and fruitless - not to hurt us, but to make us our best selves. The self God intended us to be.
But right now, we aren’t able to gather in our usual places of worship and fellowship. So how do we abide?
INSTEAD OF LOOKING TO OURSELVES AND WHAT WE CAN DO - LET’S LOOK TO GOD.
Jesus doesn’t just say, abide in me…he goes on to tell us how God comes to us. How Jesus comes to us. The Word remains constant. The Love remains constant. Jesus abides in us…while we strive and fail to abide…God doesn’t fail. God doesn’t leave us. God comes to us and makes us better. God gives us what we need to grow and produce fruit.
JESUS CHOOSES US!
And why? Out of love. Out of God’s great love for God’s children. So we strive to abide knowing and trusting that God abides with us…and in this, we can love one another.
I hope that during these unprecedented times you are finding ways to abide. Ways to live and dwell in a place of peace and security. If you are not, my prayer for you is that you find help.
I will be wearing my A B I D E Belmont Bracelet as my reminder that God is with us. God abides out of God’s great love.