You know those times when you see your kids and they are triggered and can’t make an appropriate decision, and they are mad and can’t tell you why? When they are just a bundle of emotion? The times when you call them to you and breathe with them and ask if they need a few minutes to calm themselves and sort through things? When you finally get them to sit and then they remember that they are mad at you too, so they jump up and decide that whatever it is they need is the opposite of what you suggest? So rather than sit and calm, they continue to stew and stay keyed up until they pass out exhausted? Does that ever look familiar to you in your life with God? I certainly can see myself in that situation. John 15:4 is red-lettered. Our Jesus tells us, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”
Do we believe it or don’t we? Do we believe that God is good? That he created himself in us? That we are made for each other and bring him joy? That we are saved? We are rescued? What remains in us when we remain in him is his fruit! Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. The things we are most skeptical of, and cynical about! Because Satan has convinced us that God’s fruit isn’t real. Sometimes we forget to remain. We stand up and go take a stroll. That’s when we hear the whispers, the lures, the manipulations. When we refuse to abide. To remain. When we check out and go on our own, we lose the evidence of our fruit. We bury it under layers of self, addictions, comparison, doubt, fear, anger, whatever it is that Satan uses to get us. We bury our fruit under the dirt the enemy willingly supplies. The beautiful thing about remaining is that it just requires us to stop. We stop striving, we rest, we breathe. We count our blessings, we reframe our worries into the light of God’s love and realize that NO MATTER WHAT is going on, God has it. He is our sustainer. He has the answers, and he has us. My prayer for us today is that we can quit striving, and focus on remaining.
When we need a do-over, all we have to do is stop! Stop running. Fall into his arms and just breathe. In the craziness of our schedules and to-do lists, remember that God wants to sustain us. He wants us to remain in him so that he can fight for us. Moses told the Israelites as they were being pursued yet again by the Egyptian armies, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”
How blessed will our families be when we refocus on remaining, dig out from under the layers that cover us, and display Spirit Fruits in our lives and relationships? So in these last days before school starts back, when our kids are running wild and perhaps being a little defiant, let’s encourage them, and us, to take a breath. Recognize that what they need in the midst of the chaos, is time to take a step back, to calm and recenter. Let’s show them what that looks like as we remain in our Father!
Blessings on your Journey,