Two years ago, we down-sized into a little white cape cod, a fixer-upper, that represented a new chapter in our lives. Dave had taken a new job, I had retired from teaching, and our third child left for college.
Outside, bushes and vines crowded and elbowed for space between trees. A grapevine had overgrown its trellises, climbing onto bushes and into a 50-feet tall black walnut tree. With pruning loppers, I severed a large branch from the vine to clear a path. At the cut, sap dripped continuously for several days like a faucet that hadn’t been turned off all of the way.
When Jesus said, “I am the true grapevine . . . a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me,” He was describing our need to draw life and purpose from Him.
Life flows from Him to me. Yet, I have often lived my life as if He needs me to do everything for Him. I spend my energy doing good things for Him.
I teach about Him.
I talk about Him.
I obey Him.
I worship Him.
I. I. I . . .
When I wore out and had to retire from my job, I realized that I had nothing more to give Jesus. (I wrote about that last week.) Instead of doing things for Him, I spent every day with Him, waiting and listening. My first lesson was clear: He is all I need. If I remain in Him, that’s all I need to do.
Remaining in Jesus doesn’t mean inactivity. My schedule fills up each week. I speak. I write this blog. I have written two books. I meet with women, sometimes to disciple them, and sometimes to pray with them. However, all of that activity begins and ends with Him so that His life in me enables and empowers instead of exhausting. More simply, He leads and I follow.
Some reading this blog may not understand what I’m advocating. The shift required to remain in Jesus is subtle and simple. You see, until I had nothing to offer Him, with no energy and no job, I didn’t understand how to remain, either.
Where are you today–exhausted or rested? Are you rooted in Jesus so that life and energy and direction come from Him? I’d love to hear from you.
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Stay rooted in Jesus.