When everything feels far away, our hearts grasp for something to hold onto. When I missed my family at college, I reached for friends to meet those relational needs, helping me to feel loved and accepted. When I found out my boyfriend was moving thousands of miles away for grad school, I shut down and tried to grasp onto myself, because life suddenly seemed shaky and unstable.
In the wobbly moments, the steady ones, and everything in between, God calls us to abide in Him. Only when we abide in Christ are we fulfilling God’s direction for our lives and producing the fruit He has prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). Abiding in Christ is manifested differently for different people in specific seasons, but at the heart of this abiding is a reliance on God’s Spirit and a dependence on His love. We abide not through our own grit or ability, but through God’s sending of the Son, the Son’s choice to abide in us, and the Holy Spirit’s enabling and indwelling of our souls.
Remaining in God’s love through His Spirit transcends all earthly barriers of miles and might and manpower. We can always abide in God by remaining in His love (1 John 4:16). This abiding is accomplished by obeying Christ’s command to “love one another as [He has] loved [us]” (John 15:12). I love how our Savior simplifies these intricate texts into the simple command to love each other and provides us with an example to follow in Himself. While simple, this call is far from easy. It can only be accomplished through the power of the Spirit, who is also at work in us to enable us to abide in God (1 John 4:13). What a beautiful and powerful truth: the God of the universe is at work, accomplishing His purposes and choosing to mold us into a dwelling place for Himself. When we abide in Him, He allows us to tap into that power, rest in His love, and watch His Spirit work through us. As His Spirit works through us, He also works out of His glorious abundance to fulfill and sustain us in Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
When we are tempted to grasp temporary things in our loneliness or uncertainty, let’s instead run to the open arms of our Heavenly Father. As we abide in Him through His strength, we will love the people He has placed around us with the love that He has placed in us. He will use this to bring glory to His Kingdom and Name.
What's one thing you turn to first when you feel stressed or alone? How can we reshape our mindset to first run to Christ in all of life's shaky and stable moments? (see Colossians 3:1-2)