John 15:5-8 -- Abiding Prayer
(This is an adaptation of The Message and my own words that I wrote at my prayer retreat in January because these verses are part of my "Abide in Emmanuel" directive verses for 2014)
"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with Me and I with you, the relationship intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. If we are not joined together and intimate, you will not have any fruit off of your branch. Anyone like this is just like deadwood that needs to be taken off the Vine, gathered together and put on the fire. But if you make yourself at home with Me, and My words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how My Father shows who He is -- when you produce grapes, when you mature as My disciple."
MY REFLECTION/MY I WILL
(in the form of a Sunday morning freewrite)
Yep, this is part of my "Abide in Emmanuel" directional verses. I had to have a course correction on Thursday and Friday though. I was not abiding and had fallen into the trap of people pleasing. On Wednesday, I found out a person was mad at me and chose to bad-mouth me to another person. (I relayed some GOOD NEWS about a person to another person because I thought they were not in contact. Another person, who KNEW they were in contact with one another, also relayed the same GOOD NEWS, but I was the one she was mad at. Go figure.) I will not do that again.
Then, a good friend abruptly backed out of something I had created space for in my very busy schedule to do with her. Honestly, I was relieved and realized I should have never said, "Yes" to doing it without abiding and praying and listening to God about whether I should do it. (What I really need during that time is REST rather than more people activity, but I love her and haven't seen her in a long time.) Even though I was relieved, I felt that the abrupt back out was because she was irritated with me about my lack of availability to help her plan (even though I am from here, I do not know the area in which she wanted to meet).
For a 20 hour period, I was a bit unhinged by it. Combining that with feeling really overwhelmed lately juggling all the balls I have in the air, my heat being out for three days and having the guy there for three hours fixing it, preventing me from being able to go out and exercise to relieve my stress, and looking at the schedule until Spring Break and seeing it involves a LOT of people in and out of my life, etc. On top of all that, I was supposed to be with George up in Hillsboro all week and couldn't go due to the need for osteopathic therapy and another person "springing" something on me at the last minute that prevented me from going up. (God is sovereign because the heat went out, and I needed to be here to take care of that.)
All that said, I was already scheduled to meet with my mentor, Lorraine, on Thursday because I thought I was already going to be in Newberg and close by to visit. So, at the last minute, I packed my back to go to Lorraine's AND go up to spend the night with my mother-in-law and George. As I was walking out the door, I did get a sweet note from my friend, telling me she was not irritated.
|It was "Girl's Day" in Japan this week. So Lorraine shared |
all the treats her Japanese friends sent her.
Seeing Lorraine was the beginning of my settling back to abiding. Something about visiting with an octogenarian (88) that is so pleasant and relaxing. We shared and prayed and ate a good lunch together. Then, I splurged for a bit of pampering at a salon near her house. I got a manicure and pedicure! As a young Vietnamese boy washed my feet, I was reading about Jesus washing the disciples' feet in my Bible reading. I almost started crying. What a beautiful picture for me.
Then, I went and spent a couple of hours with another octogenarian, my 84 year old mother-in-law! We talked as she prepared our dinner. Then, George came home, and we talked more until she went to watch her PBS shows, and George and I sat in her quiet living room and read our books (Me - Pilgrim's Progress; Him, All the President's Men) until we went to bed.
Then, I got up the next morning and drove 11 miles to the Trappist Abbey (the one I went to in January) to spend a day at Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Monastery in their St. Michael day room:
I felt like I had "come home"! Anyway, I went for a walk to the ridge overlooking the farm fields in front of the Abbey.
And just at the moment God spoke to me about my greatest sin and hindrance to abiding in Him while praying through Colossians 3:22, the sun broke through the clouds, and He gave me a promise:
|I would have lost heart unless I had believed|
That I would see Your goodness, O Lord,
In the land of the living.
I will hope in You and be of good courage,
And You will strengthen my heart;
Yes, I will hope in you, O Lord.
I get it Lord. Hope in You and not in people's reactions to me. I will disappoint people, but I am here to please YOU alone. I live for an audience of ONE. People may be irritated and mad at me and not like me when I say "no" to them so that I might say "YES" to You, but I need to ABIDE and LISTEN to You alone. Abiding is the end of my self-effort (Another wise older woman, Pearl Tadema, told me that after she read my journal in 1983.). So I ended my self-effort once again overlooking the harvest fields of the Trappist Monastery.
I had been doing really, really well in this area, but like an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, I am addicted to people-pleasing, and as a recovering addict, I must make day to day choices. I fell off the wagon for a couple of weeks there, and my world fell apart.
Following this epiphany were more reminders of the abiding life You have called me to, Lord. From my journal at the Pastor's Prayer Summit in February:
The ten hour time flew by, and I felt like I had "Come Home" to Him once again. Thank You Lord for the indescribable gift of Your presence living in me.
So, my I WILL is to continue to
ABIDE and listen to Him. I will "steep" my life in "God-reality, God-initiative, God-provision" according to God's word through Amanda at the Pastor's Prayer Summit (John 15; Psalm 27:4; Matthew 6:33-34)
RIDE the waves of the Holy Spirit that are produced from the abiding as in the book of Acts; doing ALL that He has commanded me to do like Jesus rather than what I think others want me to do. This is the only way to bear fruit.
WALK and persevere in that road He has for me as directed by Jeremiah 6:16 and Psalm 27:11, and come back often to . . .
REST (Mark 6:31; Matthew 11:28-30; Psalm 27:13-14). So that I may ABIDE all over again:
I will do this by
- McMINNVILLE (to see Lorraine and review our ride of Spirit waves and walk with Him)
- MANICURE (to settle into rest)
- MOM (to see mother-in-law and get time with George)
- MY LORD and ME (to see Him and abide again) TIME!
I am so excited about all YOU did Lord. Thank YOU!