“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8)
The beginning of 2013 was off to a booming start–almost every member or our household was ill. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the non-ending situations.
Thinking to myself, and I hate to admit it, but grumbling to God, Do we have to start every year like this Lord? Can’t this year be different? To which He gently replied, “Sure, but you are the one to make the change.”
I thought me? How can I make the change? This illness and struggles aren’t my idea of a fresh start.
Being the loving God he is, He enlightened me on how to make that change through one little word–abide. How can one word make a difference? My answer was simple, I was to seek the truth, what does abide really mean in relationship to the Father?
I decided to look up abide in the dictionary, one of the first definitions was abiding in verb form it meant: “To pay the price for or suffer for.” That was an eye opening bit of information! I had never thought of this word in this manner. Could it be that Christ asks me/us to abide in Him because He has already shown He was willing to suffer and pay the ultimate price for us, through His death for our sins?
Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured ( suffered) the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The next definition was: “to wait for, to accept without opposition or question.” This abide is the one that I definitely needed to pay attention to. To wait on His timing, His plan, His purpose–without questioning why?
I have to say this is the most difficult for me, just as our family’s new year started off with illness and turmoil (yet again). In this one word, abide, He is showing me that if I choose to trust Him, allowing Him full control; waiting on Him even in very hard at times, especially when illness and circumstances are overwhelming, He knows exactly what is needed; He knows when, where and how to handle it. This was exactly what He was asking of me, to abide in Him.
Psalm 112:7 says, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.”
The last definition for abide was “to remain steadfast or faithful; to keep, to submit, to agree to.” This last definition encourages each one of us to remember that He remains faithful; He waits patiently for us until we choose to listen to Him and submit, to accept us without question, forgiving and forgetting all the times we have delayed. Best of all He simply loves us and allows us be one with Him. To abide in Him, as He abides in us.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You were willing to pay the ultimate price for each of us. That You generously offer us the pleasure of abiding in Your presence that will grant us the peace that only You can provide. I ask that as we go through each day we will choose to draw near to You, so you Lord will draw near to us. Let us truly abide in You. Amen.
About the author:
Diane Kalata lives in the central Florida area. She has three grown children and her wonderful husband offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as a chronic pain and illness support group. She also goes on mission trips in the summers, as God allows, enjoying the opportunity to minister to others in need. Her hobbies include writing, and art. Diane is a four and half year colon cancer survivor, she deals with severe digestive issues resulting from chemo damage, also with sphincter odi syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic pain and fibromyalgia. She desires to be a blessing and testimony to the Lord of her life.
Do you find yourself grumbling to God about your circumstances? Has God shown you how to change your circumstances from within? What does “abide in Him” mean to you?
This video is the worship song “Psalm 91” with Lincoln Brewster. I hope it encourages you today to abide in Him–the perfect place. -Lisa