This abiding work is hard stuff, huh? Abiding and seeking forgiveness when I’d rather not. Abiding and trusting deeply when the MRI shows even more new lesions and it appears the medicine is not working and we need to switch. Abiding in quietness of heart when the well-thought-out plans get messed up. Abiding in His rest and presence when the new box of cheerio’s are split, a poopy diaper got removed by a toddler, and another is running hands out towards it, and I’m being yelled at like I’m the terrorist in this situation! Abiding. Cupping those small faces with my hands and responding in peace and love and joy knowing my response is pointing them to or from a loving Savior who can handle their every need. And, THEY are watching my abiding. My kids, my husband, my friends, my neighbors. Not only the people I can see, but the angels and the demons. Wow. To glorify God in my abiding in Him – even when I think no one else sees it. The angels and demons look on in wonder when we choose to glorify God in our response of abiding. Angels cheering us on and demons maddened as we plunder the gates of hell with our abiding in Christ.
And not that we could ever, hear me, ever do it on our own. That ‘being kept’ is by the Lord. Andrew Murray says it well: “He says ‘Abide IN ME’. He offers Himself, the Keeper of Israel that slumbers not nor sleeps, with all His power and love, as the living home of the soul, where the mighty influences of His grace will be stronger to keep than all their feebleness to lead astray….that word abide is even so the band with which He holds you fast and binds you to Himself. Let the soul take time to listen to the voice of Jesus. ‘In me’, he says, ‘is thy place – in my almighty arms.” (Andrew Murray, Abide in Me)
I can’t give you a check list to abiding. That’s why it’s hard. But you’ll know it. And it’s worth it. So, stay. Do the hard work of staying, remaining, abiding. He will produce the fruit. He will grow the roots deep and unshakable in the midst of the earth-quaking storms of unforeseen diagnosis’, depression, slandering words, broken relationships, and yes, even poop on the floor.