*repost from my old blog site 20/03/2017*
A few weeks ago, I flew to the South Island to a city called Dunedin to see and hear Ravi Zacharias talk. He is a well known international Christian speaker. And I was just really excited to finally see him in person. I stayed there for four days and got to spend 2 of those days and nights with my really good friend Gemma.
Have you got really good friends in your life?
Keeping friendships alive take a lot of work these days… most especially in these times. Even with the invention of smartphones having elevated “keeping in touch” to a whole new level, it still takes a certain kind of persistence to take time out for each other. As all introverts and intro-extroverts may think… nothing still beats catching up over coffee whether outdoors or indoors. Or if you’re like me we can talk over tea. Tea works well too 🙂
Staying over at Gemma’s was really good for my soul. I felt like dried soil, parched and thirsty for any single drop of water that may come my way. And Gemma… well you can say her company always makes for a refreshing time. I’m glad she makes the effort to stay connected. I’m just so grateful to GOD for her friendship. Period.
It had been a hard couple of weeks both physically and mentally. And I must say that trip happened at just the right time. I loved being encouraged, being lifted up and being convicted all at the same time. Conversations with Gemma always do that to me.
But today’s post isn’t about Gemma although it can easily be. That girl is great.
This is about her garden… the one inside her greenhouse.
Yes folks. She has a greenhouse right at the back. I thought that was cool. It came with the house she bought when she moved to Dunedin. And I really took quite an interest. I spent a good few minutes in there snapping photos away. She had tomatoes staked to the ground on both sides of the room.
And she had this enormous spinach in the middle drying away on the table.
The image of it sticks to my mind up to this day. I don’t know but seeing something that was huge that was supposed to continue growing, now cut off from the land looking dried up really made an impression on my mind prompting me to realise how important it is to stay rooted.
For that spinach plant to continue to stay healthy, it’s roots had to stay firmly rooted into deep nourishing soul. And it had to stay that way for the time it needed to.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
This is one of the definitions I found for the word abide in the 1928’s edition of Websters Dictionary:
“to remain, to continue”
Remaining is more than just the act of leaning upon something. To lean is that first step when you make a decision. But to stay, to remain is another thing altogether. It is so easy to make that first choice but whether or not you continue to commit to that decision is another thing altogether. I learned this too late from a personal experience when I let go of a relationship prematurely.
And so, I do have a long way to go in terms of getting this abiding business right. And I’m glad that it’s not an impossible task to do. I am grateful that I can do this with His promised grace and not have to muster up my own strength. So grateful too that this has all to do with pursuing a Person… Jesus rather than a list of to-do things.
Here are 3 things I’ve been trying to do
- Starting with a prayer instead of checking social media upon waking. This has been real hard to implement. It does get easier though once you establish the habit of not touching your phone when you’ve woken. I have also for the interim deactivated my FB account just to help me going with this.
- Choosing one verse every week to meditate on.
- Keeping to my Bible reading. I have started this in January and sort of fell off from the wagon when I realised I was reading my plan wrong the whole time being a few weeks late by the time I noticed 😀 So I know I won’t be able to finish this within the year! After feeling a little disappointed, I remember that it is a relationship with Jesus that we are pursuing not purely just knowledge or winning the Bible reading race because it isn’t one. Whew for that!!
I know there are more one can do to keep deeply rooted in Christ so feel free to share what works with you. As I mentioned before, the most important thing is to pursue a relationship with Christ and do all you can possibly do by the grace He amply provides to remain in that relationship, to remain in Him.
This is so vital to be able to keep going in spite of challenges and so important in being able to thrive and continue to have peace and persistent joy in whatever situation He allows you to go through.
Let’s keep remaining in Him.