"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."- John 15:9-11
Today is my 24th birthday. And I had a pretty beautiful start to the morning. It began kind of early, but that gave me some extra time to spend in the Word. And though I've read John numerous times in my life, this morning the words "abide in me" that Jesus spoke struck me differently. Let me explain.
One of the hard things about these past few months has been this overwhelming sense that I didn't have a home. Yes, I have an apartment. However, I spend time at school, time in other cities, time in my parents' home. A lot of travel. All of this is a blessing- don't get me wrong. But moving around this much removes any sense of permanence- home. This left my heart deeply saddened at times. And I often found myself "too busy" to read His Word.
I had the chance to go to Urbana-Intervarsity's major conference that happens every three years. One of the days, I took a walk around the expo, stopping at the Vineyard booth. As I was looking through some of their materials, a woman came up to me and asked if she could pray for me. She began to pray and ended up asking that the Lord would provide me with a home. I'd never met this woman. But she touched on the very longing of my heart through her prayers.
Then, while I was visiting Connecticut this holiday, I met with a dear friend. As we were catching up, she shared with me this concept- "The Lord is your home." He is your resting place in change. He is that sigh of relief after a long day. He is the steady place. And here's the cool part...His Word testifies to this.
The word "abide" means to rest, continue, stay, to make your dwelling. And after a gentle rebuke from my mentor- which I'll explain in a minute- I have found home in my Lord. My mentor was listening to me explain this "disconnect" I felt with the Lord. To which she responded with the question, "Are you spending time in His Word?" My response was, "No, it's just really hard because life is so full right now." To which she graciously said, "Amy, life is always going to be full. It really is just a matter of choosing to do it."
And in these past weeks of spending time in His Word on a daily basis, I've discovered what it means that He is home- truly. This time with Him has created a sweet intimacy, a real care for His heart for others, a deeper connection in prayer and frankly, has allowed me to see this Haiti mess with a fierce commitment to service. Listening to Him through His word gives us the opportunity to better recognize His voice. His ways. His truth. And on the same token- be able to point out and rebuke that of the enemy.
It just makes sense-especially in a time of change- where many things are transient- that the unchanging God would be home. And to find home, we must know who He is. Discovering who He is starts with His Word. Life is always going to be full. So choose to know Home and know Love.
Thank you, all, for a wonderful birthday. 24. Pretty awesome (smile).