I chuckle at the irony that the last few blogs I have written have been about returning to blogging. And then I disappear 😛 This time, however, it not because of my lack of quiet time with God; rather, it is because of it. My time with God over the last couple weeks has been a time of personal intimacy, a time of God speaking love and encouragement into my heart; a time of reminding me of the purpose He has laid upon me and reminding me that I was created specifically for that purpose. A time of whispering that He has not forgotten me.
What a beautiful, beautiful time it has been. Usually when I am in God’s Word, He speaks so many teaching points to me that I absolutely have to write them all down to share. For this last week, however, He has given me words that were for me and me alone. What an incredible God we serve, that He would promise to use us to reach others, yet not forget that we need to be reminded of He great love for us. He knew that I needed to remember that He had chosen me because of His desperate love for me; and then He wants to use me (and you) because of His desperate love for the rest of the world. It boggles my mind that I am one of billions that He loves, yet He can still love me (and you) uniquely and specially.
This time was used to remind me of the words in John 15:4-11 ESV:
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 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. 6 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. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
In order for us to bear fruit, we must be growing from the vine. The vine is what gives us the nutrients and the power we need to be healthy in every way, so we may bear good fruit, and by the fruit glorify the Father. Apart from the vine, we are nothing. In order to bear good fruit, we must first attend to our own spiritual health. Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to take time for yourself, to let God speak His love and encouragement into you. It’s ok to hide from the world and ask God to refresh and renew your spirit. I am reminded of that incredible verse out of Isaiah 40:28-31:
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
If you are feeling weary from the task God has given you, if you are tired of waiting, if you are worn from life, look to the words of these sweet verses in Isaiah. Turn to God and bury yourself with His Word, a prayer on your lips, and an open heart ready for renewal. God tells us that He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jer. 31:3), and He will never fail you, Beloved.
With a soaring heart and a joyful spirit, my blessings I pour upon you and my prayers are lifted with your name on my lips. Amen and Amen.