Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin. Matthew 6:28
I admit it; I have been toiling and spinning, thinking that somehow it is by my strength things get accomplished. Jesus tells me in Matthew’s gospel not to be anxious for my life, for food or clothes, that God knows what I need and will provide it. This coupled with my attention to this year’s word, ABIDE gives me a pretty complete picture of His promise to meet my needs.
I know this in my head, but sometimes my heart takes off on its own tangents. Maybe I’m feeling like I need to catch up from being laid up with my broken foot last fall. I surely felt set aside then and pondered why. I am supposed to be pursuing my writing. I am supposed to be lining up speaking engagements. I, I, I….
The truth is I am toiling and spinning, not waiting and trusting. I thought after the holidays I would be ready to roll. Yet, I still sense something is not finished—my waiting is still necessary.
John 15 talks about the need to abide in the vine. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches; I (we) can’t bear fruit without Him. The husbandman or vinedresser is God and He decides when branches need pruning so they will produce more fruit—healthier fruit. Interesting that the growth that needs pruning is all healthy growth, yet it still needs to be cut back so it will be closer to the vine.
Maybe I am being pruned. Maybe I need to learn more about abiding. Whatever the reason, I believe that there is a purpose for His timing. Even though it’s hard, I trust Him to do what’s best.
All of this fits in with another article I wrote recently about manna, daily bread. The same way God provided daily provision in the desert for the Israelite wanderers—just enough for each day’s needs, I believe He provides the same way for me. God gave the people instructions about gathering. He told them to gather twice as much the day before the Sabbath because there wouldn’t be any found on the ground on that day. Still, it says some went out to gather on the Sabbath and found none. His instruction can only be heard when I am walking close to Him, abiding with Him. This is the relationship I am created for.
This is the relationship you were created for too. Instead of anxious spinning, He calls us to abide.
So, I will try to abide and keep from toiling and spinning as I wait for the fresh wind of His Spirit to set my next course.
You can read more in John 15, Matthew 6:25-34 and Philippians 4:6-9
What are you anxious about?
Learning to abide,