In Joyfulness Abiding
Scriptures: John 15 John 16:24 1 John 1:4 2 John 1:12
There are seven words in John 15:4, “Abide in Me and I in you”. Seven little words that hold the depth of our walk with Christ within their meaning. When we begin to reflect on and absorb these words, we find a wellspring of such infinite wisdom, such promise and assurance. Our abiding is not merely with Christ our Lord, it is IN Him. The more we drink of this life giving source, the more we see glimpses of what this “abiding” leads us into and, consequently, overflows out of us.
Within this abiding is the resting place for our weary souls; a place of stillness, perfect peace and magnificent, immeasurable joyfulness. Out of pure joy seemingly dead branches burst into bud, the bud unfurls, the perfect shady leaf develops and shields the blossom that becomes the precious fruit.
How can this be? Joyfulness that sustains us through knowing beyond doubt that our life is enmeshed with God, that by waiting upon Him we become entwined with the Vine and the sap that feeds us is able to flow freely through us and bring forth fruit to His Glory alone. Joyfulness that expresses itself in a serenity, a calm, a deep rooted trust in God who holds every second of time in His Hands. Joyfulness that stems, literally, from abiding in the Vine who is our Father God.
This is not the joy that we experience as we gaze at a perfect, unique sunset, or the joy of a new life being safely born. This is a fullness of joy that is not dependent upon circumstances or experience, it is not a transient feeling. It is intellectually unexplainable. Yet patently and wonderfully real.
To transform a prickly stick into a beauteous, blooming rose bush only happens through caring, careful husbandry. Thoughtful tending, purposeful pruning, gentle grafting and nutritious life giving feeding, are all necessary for the branch to burgeon as it is filled with the life giving sap from the parent plant.
This precious, golden stream of joyfulness pervades every facet of our life in Christ. Wherever our path leads us, we are able to draw on this nourishing, life giving, life enhancing pure nectar. When this path is smooth our hearts easily sing with joy. Then there are the stretches of path where rocks and rubble hinder our walk, where brambles and whipping branches seek to hold on to us, where steep, twisting terrain slows us down and exhausts us. It is as we navigate these dark times that our abiding in Christ allows us to hear the words “Let me walk with you” and our hearts know the true joy that comes from Him alone.
Prayer: O Father God, as we surrender ourselves to You, as we place our hand in Yours, as we wait on You, becoming enmeshed and entwined in our abiding, our lives will exude joyfulness. It is Your heartfelt desire that we know the Joy that can never be taken from us, and that our life expresses that peaceful, sincere, ever-flowing joyfulness. We give thanks for the Joy that is our strength. We give thanks for Holy Spirit Who fills us with never failing joyfulness as we abide in You. For Your Mercy and Your Grace we bless Your Holy Name. Amen