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A few years ago, I picked a new years resolution word. I chose “abide.” I eagerly cross-stitched the word, framed it, and decided to live it out. Why does the word “abide” in all its cross-stitched glory still sit and mock me today?

In my mind abiding was like a baby chimp and his mother. The baby, from birth, clings on for dear life to its mother’s hair, skin, ear, and whatever it can get its tiny hands to grasp. The mom appears to have little responsibility to keep the baby attached to herself. It’s like she expects the infant to cling, to her or not, at its own expense.

I believed my power, actions, and efforts helped me abide. “I can figure this out,” I told myself. If I just, or if I could, it will work when I do it. I just have to muster it up.

In my quiet time, I pondered my chosen word, “abide,” and decided to read what the Bible had to say about it.

John 15:4 says: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. John15:5 continues: I am the vine. You are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (NKJV)

As I reread this scripture, I can see why clinging like a baby chimp, hanging on for dear life, did not serve me well. This scripture is more like a babe wrapped in a swaddle sleeping. It has its arms tightly wrapped to its sides, and all it can do is trust the mother or father holding it. There is no action needed from the baby except to relax and be.

To abide, is to rest in our Heavenly Father, to trust Him. To abide, I must let go of my faulty definitions of who I think God is. He is a loving, caring God who wants me to rest in Him. Not a survival of the fittest, better hold on tight, or I am leaving without you, God. In my fear, and pride, I could not see the word abide; only the word survive. I could not learn to abide until I handed my survival over to the Lord. Abiding is not something I had to do but something I had to learn.

Abiding is walking by faith, not by sight. 1 Corinthians 5:7. Are you abiding in the Lord today? Or are you surviving? Let’s stop clinging and start abiding together.

Lord, You call us to abide. It is challenging. Help us to surrender all we cling to and rest in You. Teach us to trust that You are guiding and holding us through all that was, that is, and that is to come. Help us redefine who we think You are with who You are. You are a good God, a loving, caring God. You are the God who sees. ElRoi, see us today and help us abide. In Jesus name, AMEN

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