Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Several months ago, a sweet friend gave our family three large boxes of books. Among the many volumes, there were a number of little paperbacks written by Andrew Murray. Though I had read some of these gems in the past, there was one that I had not read before:
Abide in Christ.
I'm not sure why I picked that book out of the many possibilities on our shelves. Looking back, I have to believe that it was God's own hand that guided my hand to reach up and pull down that little volume, leafing through the pages, slipping it into my bag before I headed out for my day of prayer.
Prior to that time, the word abide would start my heart racing. Abide was an action word. Hearing it caused me to search within myself for something that I could do to cause myself to live fully surrendered to Him. But, as I began to read that simple book on that chilly fall afternoon, something wondrous happened. I started to see that instead of it being my job to keep myself fixed on Him, that too was His responsibility.
He would keep me.
He would be the one who would cause me to abide in Him.
All that I had to do was allow Him the privilege.
Oh friends, perhaps you are much wiser than me and have learned this lesson long ago. But, for my heart, it was a revelation: Nothing that I could do would cause me to abide in Christ, but in surrendering even my ability to keep myself, I would find true rest in Him.
And dear ones, as I have begun to live this out over the past few months, He has proved Himself faithful! Some days, it is easy. I have an uninterrupted time with the Lord in the morning, the kids are doing great, I am able to interact with my neighbors and the weather is beautiful. My heart freely dwells on the Lord and it is easy to abide in Him. On other days, however, relationships are difficult, financial matters are stressful, parenting is overwhelming, and the list could go on and on. It's a temptation (ridiculous as it may be) to take matters into my own hands and make a plan as to how I can overcome the world!

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), it never works. Instead of overcoming, I begin to experience anxiety and fear. Through God's grace, it is becoming more and more clear to me that those difficult days are the ones in which I need to lean into Him even more intentionally and let Him do the work of keeping my heart surrendered to His heart. When I remember how helpless I am before Him, and simply trust in His ability, He can work wonders!

"If I can say, 'Jesus is to me at this moment all that God gave Him to be: life, and strength, and peace,' as I say it, I have only to hold still, rest, and realize it, and for that moment I have what I need. As my faith sees how I am in Christ through God and takes the place in Him my Father has provided, my soul can peacefully settle down: now I abide in Christ." (Andrew Murray)
Andrew Murray and his precious book have become dear friends to me over the past few months. They lead me into the presence of Jesus, who keeps me in Him and who is forever faithful. Truly, I abide in Christ today through no merit of my own, but only because of His great goodness and kindness to me! Oh, how beautiful He is! Oh how wondrous it is to abide in Christ!


Dana Butler said...

i love you. you inspire me and encourage my heart. thanks, my friend.

Kathleen T. Jaeger said...

I love this book! I have read/pondered it more than one time...I too have loved learning its gems, which is why I return to it.

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