John 15:4-5 “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.” (NASB)
For years, I tried to earn the love and approval of God and everyone else by doing everything I could find to do in ministry and at home. If a position needed filling, I filled it. If a job needed doing, I did it. If volunteers were called for, mine was the first hand raised. You couldn’t find a cleaner house or more organized schedule. After all, if I was doing all of these important things then I must be important, too. Right? The result was dark years spent at the bottom of a deep, ugly pit called clinical depression. Even after I was injured and acknowledged chronic illness in my life I still continued to try meet every need of everyone in life with all the energy I could muster up. The harder I tried – the more I pushed myself – the more I sick I became.
On the Sunday after my oldest son’s wedding, where the night before I prepared, decorated for, and served a three course Italian meal for a Rehearsal Dinner to some 25 people, I lay in sobbing a heap on my bed – exhausted and in horrific pain. I had come face to face with the sin inside me. The kind of sin that mimics humility but is all about pride. MY sin that screamed, “Without you, Kimberly Walker, the world will fall apart! Without you nothing will get done or it won’t get done right! Without you…..” Prior to this moment had you asked me if I REALLY believed those “without you” thoughts I would have been insulted. It was such a unconsious SIN. But, I was being awakened to it.
The conviction was from the Lord. I could hear His still, quiet voice clearly state, “That is enough, my child! You must stop. You are hurting yourself. I want you to learn to abide in Me. It is there that you will find PEACE!” Truth is…I didn’t know much about “abiding” at all. What I was expert in knowing about was “doing”. I knew NOTHING at all about how to set boundaries and for most of my life I had unwittingly surrendered my God-ordained priorities to what I learned was the empty, vain addiction of just “doing the next thing”. I discovered I had been running the race for the wrong audience and as a result, relied on my own power instead of God’s power to do all the “good” I was doing.
I began to seek my Lord’s heart asking Him to teach me about abiding. He showed me I needed to understand what it meant to live in BALANCE. I needed to understand how to balance my activities. I have been studying balance. I’ve been studying HIM.
That morning in meditation while thinking on the above scripture I prayed, “FATHER! How do I REST and ABIDE and still accomplish anything in this life? They just seem like polar opposites.” 4 years later I am still praying that prayer and trying to understand. We serve a God of PERFECT BALANCE and yet He created the earth in 7 days. How do I remain balanced and yet accomplish not nearly as much?
I have so much to learn at His feet. Throughout today I think I can hear Him saying to me “It’s IN me, my child. IN me.” IN HIM. While resting IN and abiding IN Him I can accomplish everything I need to accomplish. Not anything more. Not anything less. Outside of Him is the darkness of depression and sting of paralyzing pain. IN HIM is REST!
IN HIM I constantly have to re-evaluate my priorities and goals in order to find the holy balance God intends. Daily I must make difficult choices between the good things and the best things. When I make continual “good” choices (accompanied byt the bad ones I naturally make), I can sense myself sliding toward the dangerous edge of darkness. I don’t want to go there again. It IS a battle. The good news is that I don’t have to fight that battle alone. God is with me. He is IN me. Calling me toward the light and a life of resting in Him.
Me IN Him and He IN me. Apart from HIM I bear NO GOOD FRUIT!
Father, teach me to ABIDE. I desperately need Your guidance in setting the priorities and goals for my life. I ask that you would show me the ways I can make YOU my priority and how to accomplish the goals that YOU set for me.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it shall be done for you”.
“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”.(NASB)
IF YOU ARE STRUGGELING WITH DEPRESSION AND CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE, LIVING WHOLE with CHRONIC PAIN CARES! PLEASE CALL: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) AND TALK WITH SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP YOU THROUGH THIS TOUGH TIME! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!