{Lessons} Abide and Obey

Trees.

I grew up heading out to the cornfields when I needed a place to think, to clear my head. I loved the sound of the wind in the trees, vibrant green in the summer if we were getting enough rain and all shades of red and yellow and brown as the ears of corn grew dry and ready for harvest. In the quiet, just me and my Father and thoughts going every which way, I sorted out life and decisions and relationships.

I didn’t realize how much I would miss the beauty of trees, of anything green. When the traffic and constant construction noises cause my head to pound and my heart to constrict and all I want to do is find a place to walk, out of the city and all that entails, a place of solitude to sort it all out.

I came back from our organizational conference last week with a head full of ideas and plans and a heart full of excitement and trepidation and fear. Vision casting? Praying more? Seed sowing more? Are you sure you called the right person, Father?

In the somewhat stillness of my room, I started drawing a tree. I have never been exactly artistic, but drawing even in the simplest form has been an outlet for me of late. As the tree took shape, the leaves bright green, I was reminded of the passage from John 15 that talks about the vine and the branches.

John 15:5-10 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  

Abide and obey. Then the fruit will come. It is not my job to grow the fruit, or take credit for the fruit, this is all for the Father’s glory. I need to abide, spending precious time with Him even if there are no beautiful cornfields or trees to be found. He is my resting place, my place of solitude where I sort it all out. As I obey what He is telling me, then the fruit will come and it won’t be about pleasing humans or numbers or goals, but praise to Jesus.

Thailand 

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