In spring, each day brings something new. The leaves on trees and blooms on flowers appear, especially after rain. Birds are building nests, selecting safe places for their young.
Many nests are built in trees, but some are not. Some make a nest in a door wreath; others find a ledge on the side of a house or a hanging plant.
Wherever it is, the nest becomes a dwelling for the bird, where it will abide so new eggs can hatch. Hopefully, it is a secure place from neighborhood predators.
Just as the birds create a safe dwelling, so it is with us to create a safe dwelling for our soul to connect with God.
God wants us to abide, or dwell with him, so that we gain his life-giving spiritual nourishment.
Jesus spoke these words of connection to his disciples in John 15: 5.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
The words are both comforting and challenging. I’m comforted and encouraged to stay close to the Lord through prayer and reading the Bible. However, the end of the verse challenges me: apart from me you can do nothing.
Too often I try to do things on my own strength and then ask God to bless the project. I get frustrated when there is one problem after another.
That is backward to the way God works. The process is smoother when I settle my spirit and pray before starting a project. God enables me to go forward.
Abiding is a life-long process of nurturing faith through seeking and worshipping God. This develops through prayer and meditating on the Word of God. Abiding in Christ involves a rhythm of resting in God’s presence and persevering in faith when life is hard. Through grace, God allows us to draw near to Him.
As we grow in faith, we learn more about abiding in Christ.
It’s not realistic to live a contemplative, reclusive life in our busy world. Even in the pandemic we’ve had to get out to take care of business.
How do we dwell in a secure place in our daily life?
God’s word guides us to look up to Him.
- How do we abide when we’re discouraged? Make the intentional choice to look up to God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Ps 42:5,11 NIV
Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. He is faithful to do it again.
- How do we abide when we’re lonely? Seek encouragement in the Bible.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18 NIV
God is ever present, no matter how we feel.
- How do we settle our souls when we’re on the go all the time? Keep our hearts tuned to the Lord.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 NIV
We need to press into the strength of the Lord in the busyness of life.
- How do you keep hope when you’re waiting? Many times when I wait, I’m anxious.
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7 NIV
The Hebrew word for wait also means hopeful expectation, which changes my attitude while waiting.
- How can we keep calm in the middle of stress?
Therefore, do not be worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV
There’s no point in borrowing worry about the future. When we abide, or dwell with the Lord, we gain his peace.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty. Psalm 91:1 NIV
As we watch the beauty of spring unfold, also look for the nests in the bushes and tress.
May they be a reminder to dwell, or abide, in the Lord.