Abiding In the Life-Giving Vine

How was your summer? Were you overwhelmed with busyness or struggles? Did you have any soul-refreshing quiet times with God?

I sincerely hope each of you have some memory where you were certain God is watching out for you. I hope you glimpsed His unfailing love for you. I hope your troubled soul was strengthened with hope to take the next step forward.

My life continues to be a healing process. Sometimes just when I think I’m safe on the solid ground of Jesus, tumultuous waves from unhealed layers of deep pain knock me down. I have to constantly remind my heart of God’s Truth to refute the lies that blast their way in.

One night as I wrestled with an aching void in my heart, restlessness deep in my soul, and a confusing roadmap in my mind, I pleaded with God to speak to me. Lord, what is it You want me to do? If there is something I need to do, tell me. Please.

“Abide in Me.” What? “Abide in Me.”

So began my summer quest… What does that mean, Lord?

“Abide” means to remain, to continue, to stay. But it goes so much deeper than that when Jesus tells us to abide in Him, doesn’t it?

“Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself

unless it abides in the vine,
so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches;
he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit,
for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:4-5 NASB

Without the life-giving nutrients from Jesus, the True Vine, our deep soul hunger will never be satisfied. Without a heart and soul connection to Him, we have nothing and can do nothing. Without His life-sustaining power, the smallest storm will rip us away.

We need to open our hearts wide to receive His Word. To devour, digest, and allow His truth to dominate our thoughts, words, and actions. To let it free-flow into the deepest parts of our souls to replenish, revive, and reform us each and every moment of day and night.

“If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus –
in His presence – ripened by the sunshine of His smiles.
We must hold sweet communion with Him.
We must leave the distant view of His face and come near,
as John did, and pillow our head on His breast;
then shall we find ourselves advancing in holiness.”
Charles Spurgeon

When we choose to abide in our life-giving and life-sustaining Savior, it won’t be easy. No, it will be harder sometimes, because Satan tries his best to rip us from Him. But Satan’s best is never good enough. We are immovably secure, because our victorious Savior chose to die for us, chose to live for us, and chooses to abide with us and in us. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. With Him, we can keep taking the next step.

That is why I can come back to blogging. It’s not about my bearing fruit to God. It’s about letting go of my own striving to do more or be better. It’s about remaining connected to Jesus and allowing His nutrients to flow through me to others.

This willful child will often forget and fall down. But I will get up again, and step by step, I will learn to abide in Him more freely and fully. To pillow my head on His chest and let Him wrap His arms around me in the warmth of His unfailing love. To believe His steadfast willingness and even His delight to calm my fears and insecurities, to refresh me with nutrients from His endless fountain of grace, and to give me words focused on Him and His love, not on myself.

I pray each word will be balm to your hurting heart and will point you to our only HOPE in Jesus!

I am looking forward to interacting with you again. It amazes me that though my heart’s longing is to encourage you, I often end up on the receiving end of encouragement. Thank you so much for blessing me. God is so good to me.

“Abide With Me”
by Matt Maher

“Abide with me, abide with me
Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go
Walk with me and never leave
Ever close, God abide with me

24 thoughts on “Abiding In the Life-Giving Vine

  1. It’s lovely to see you back here, Trudy! I’m glad you’ve had time to draw close to God and be refreshed and I love the lessons you share about abiding in him. It is so easy for me to fall into thinking I can do things by myself- I need to keep reminding myself that apart from him I can do nothing. I like the song too, and I’m glad you feel encouraged as you encourage us with your words and insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for welcoming me back, Lesley. I find it easy to do things myself, too. We’ll have to keep reminding each other that apart from Him we can do nothing. May we continue to cling to Him and to encourage hurting souls!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so, so happy to see you back blogging again, Trudy! Your words today were especially thoughtful and inspiring. Coincidentally, our pastor preached on this very Scripture last Sunday, and I’ve been reflecting on what it means to abide in Jesus ever since. He is, indeed, the vine, and we are His branches – apart from Him, we can bear no fruit. Jesus is our everything!
    Continuing to pray for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “To pillow my head on His chest and let Him wrap His arms around me in the warmth of His unfailing love.” That’s such a beautiful visual you’ve left me today Trudy! Your heart’s longing to encourage has touched me today. I can feel the peace resonating from your words, and was such a blessing to read them today. May you continue to abide wrapped in His unfailing love.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Trudy,
    Oh, I am so thankful to see you back here again. I have truly missed your words this summer. And, once again, your words hit home with just what I needed this morning: “It’s about remaining connected to Jesus and allowing His nutrients to flow through me to others,” as I too must offer myself to the ONE who abides so close. It is so easy to be overwhelmed with my own sight of the situations all around me. But HE is not overwhelmed, and He wants to hold me close to His heart, deep in the vine. Thank you, dear friend. Hugs and Blessings to you! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment brings tears to my eyes, Bettie. I’m deeply grateful that your heart is encouraged. You write, “It is so easy to be overwhelmed with my own sight of the situations all around me. But HE is not overwhelmed, and He wants to hold me close to His heart, deep in the vine.” This really touches my heart. I so identify with it. Thank you for the encouragement that He is never overwhelmed.! May we both offer ourselves moment by moment to the ONE who abides so close and invites us to rest in Him!

      Like

  5. Amen to this, Trudy: ” Apart from Him, we can do nothing. With Him, we can keep taking the next step.” I’ve missed your weekly posts but I’m glad your time off was restorative. Thank you for this (written and musical) encouragement to “abide.” Hugs, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you are encouraged here, Lois. We depend so much on Him to take the next step, don’t we? And it’s a comfort to know when we are too weary to keep going, He will carry us through. Hugs back to you! May we abide in Him every step of the way!

      Like

  6. Trudy, welcome back! I’ve missed you this summer. But, it sounds like this time of rest has been good for you.

    I always like the word Abide and how it means to remain. For us, we’re to remain in Jesus.

    This so resonated with me: “When we choose to abide in our life-giving and life-sustaining Savior, it won’t be easy. No, it will be harder sometimes, because Satan tries his best to rip us from Him.” It isn’t easy to abide with Jesus. We have to choose this over and over. But, God is good. He meets us when we make the choice.

    Thank you for your words today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for missing me and welcoming me back, Jeanne. Yes, the rest was good for me. God knew what I needed. 🙂 No, it isn’t easy to abide in Jesus. How true that we have to choose this over and over. Resting in Jesus and His victory already won helps so much, right? May we together keep choosing to abide in Him!

      Like

  7. Hi Trudy,
    Welcome back from your summer sabbatical! I missed you in our little blogging circle but breaks are always great to take — just as long as you don’t make them permanent! 🙂 I think our journeys of walking with God are continually one of progress, rest and respite and sometimes a step backwards, too, but I’m so glad his presence always go along with us, no matter what season we’re in. So glad you’re back walking and writing with us! 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Valerie. I missed you, too. How true that “our journeys of walking with God are continually one of progress, rest and respite.” Yes, even sometimes a step backwards. It’s so comforting that His presence is always with us, not matter what the circumstance or whether we “feel” Him or not. xoxo to you, too! I hope you had a great summer! May our hearts always remember He is always with us and will never abandon us!

      Like

  8. Welcome back, Trudy! I have missed reading your encouraging, faith-stirring words. Though times of pulling back from blogging are so necessary when we feel weak, weary and depleted, aren’t they? We are never meant to live life in our own strength alone.
    And to make this your modus operandi as a blogger/writer: “It’s about remaining connected to Jesus and allowing His nutrients to flow through me to others.” reflects my own heart’s desire. May it be true for all who write to bring God praise and glory, as they point the way to finding Hope, Peace, Joy and Freedom in Him.
    These words beautifully illustrate a life of abiding in Christ: “To pillow my head on His chest and let Him wrap His arms around me in the warmth of His unfailing love.” May it be so for each and every one of us. It’s lovely to see you back to blogging, and I adore the butterfly header image and rejigged look here too. Or at least it looks new to me! Blessings, love and warm welcome ((((hugs)))) xo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your warm welcome, Joy. I missed your posts as well. I’m glad you’re back, too! Yes, pulling back from blogging is necessary sometimes. God knew we needed a summer break. I hope you aren’t overdoing with all your decluttering of books, etc. I know that can be so tiring. We both have those same longings of staying connected to Jesus and His love and passing on His encouragement to hurting souls, don’t we? I know I have to cease my striving for approval and pillow my head on Jesus’ chest, trusting Him to give me the right words. But I forget so easily. God is so good and patient with me. Love and hugs back to you! May we stay connected to Jesus and allow His love and grace to flow through us to others!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Trudy! I see we both took the summer off from blogging. I hope your time away was relaxing and refreshing. I know how important those breaks are, and I’m so glad that you listened to your own inner voice. Now you’re ready to minister to all of us again!

    Blessings,
    Ceil

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ceil. Blessings to you, too! I am looking forward to your posts again. I love spring and summer as I am able to spend more time in God’s creation. Summer flew by so quickly! Some of our grandkids are happy to be in school again, and others not so much. It makes such a difference what teachers they have. I remember those days… May we always open our ears and hearts to God’s whispers and nudges!

      Like

  10. This is so good for me too, Trudy: “It’s not about my bearing fruit to God. It’s about letting go of my own striving to do more or be better.” Yes. I tend to want to measure my “performance” but that is NOT what God is after. I want to be content to just abide. If fruit grows, so be it, but that’s not my responsibility; it is God’s. I also love the Matt Maher song. He is one of my very favorite Christian artists. I heard a new song by him lately so I need to see if he has a new album out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so hard to let go of our striving, isn’t it, Lisa? With you, I want to be content to just abide. I’m glad you loved the Matt Maher song. His “Lord, I Need You” is one of my husband’s and my favorites. I just looked up his new song – “Your Love Defends Me.” I love it. 🙂 May we together keep letting go of our striving and abide in our True Vine, allowing His nutrients to fill us and flow through us!

      Liked by 1 person

Your voice matters! Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s