I’m Not the Vine: Learning to Abide
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.
John 15:5-6, ESV
Turning My Page
Sometimes we start again in a new way.
My depression is often rooted in thinking God is not enough for everyone I care about. My daughter, in particular, is suffering deeply. I can’t stand suffering, so I scramble to find answers, overthink, and stretch myself to the point of breaking to fill in all the perceived gaps God leaves incomplete to my satisfaction.
In addition, I am acutely aware of my friends and family who are deeply hurting, and I want to relieve their suffering too. I need to be there for others. And the list of reasons I don’t measure up to the lofty expectations I have for myself is endless.
As long as I can remember, I have tried to fix things for everyone and be god to broken-winged animals and people, and on the surface, those are noble desires. God created me with great compassion for the downtrodden and brokenhearted, but part of my New Year’s message from God this year was: “You are not me.”
In reality, there is only one thing I need to do. Love Jesus.
I am grafted into Jesus. It’s not my job to fix the messed up world, not even my own, and God continues to work with me this year to trust him in all areas of my life, including the care for my family. When I attempt to usurp God’s plan, even in allowing brokenness, I run over his spectacular redemption. I forget that it was in brokenness that he redeemed me.
As I read scripture I see that his ways aren’t mine. My plan would not have allowed Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world.
I laid some things on the altar on New Year’s Day, and I confess that lately, I have picked them back up. I praise God for the humbling he has done in the past few weeks. I CAN wait to see what God has in store for my daughter, friends, and family. He asked me to pray that his will is done in the lives I care about. No more attempts to fix or correct. Trust. Trust Him.
Turning Your Page
What is in your hands at this very moment? Are you gripping people, places, purposes, or a job so tightly that God has to work around you? Make no mistake, His will be done on earth as in heaven. You can either be a fruitful grapevine or a useless branch, but either way. Jesus is the vine.
Our job is to abide in him.
- Pray that God shows you areas in your life where you are trying to be the vine.
- Look up the definition of abide and put the definition into your own words.
- Read the story of Joseph in the Old Testament (Genesis 37-50).
- What was Joseph’s plan for his life as a teenager?
- What was God’s?
- How did Joseph come to realize that God’s plan was the best route, even though it wound through attempted murder, slavery, and prison?
Lord, your ways aren’t mine, and I don’t want them to be. Do exceedingly, abundantly, beyond my limited thinking. Wow me! Amen