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.
~ John 15:4
I had another restless night, and awoke early this morning with so many things on my mind. I have been thinking about everything that I encountered this week. A funeral, the deaths of two women who have made an impact in my life, the graduation of a friend's son, thinking about my sermon for this Sunday, and a visit with a woman whose daughter has inspired me to write a children's book that I hope will be completed by summer's end. Yes, you might say I have a lot on my mind.
But in the midst of all of these thoughts, three words seemed to be spoken to me over and over, "Abide in me."
One thing that I realize about our relationship with God is that it is not meant to be hard, filled with requirements, or demanding. "Abide in me," simply is an invitation to reside with God.
Sometimes the most meaningful moments I have with people who are dying is simply being silent, and being present. It is a reminder to me that God is inviting us to simply reside with God.
Years ago I remember asking my great-grandmother Wilkes why she and my great-grandfather hardly spoke to one another. They had been married well over seventy years at this point. She looked at me and said, "Well, we tell each other that we love each other every day. That's important, but we realized a long time ago it wasn't necessary to tell the other person something that they already knew. We save what might be our final words on the things that are important. Otherwise, we are just with one another, and are thankful for that."
In the world today it seems that we must always have something going on. The whole time we are filling calendars and making plans, God is simply asking to be brought along. "Abide in me..."
There is something very special about realizing how simple our presence with God can be, and how easy our journey each day can be when we live it fully with God with us. "Abide in me," are words that have brought peace this day, and can each day when I listen and relax.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.