Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Lessons from Ireland: Abide

This summer Paul and I had the joy of traveling with good friends to Ireland.  Ireland is a beautiful country with stunning scenery, a fascinating history, and lovely people. We stayed at a B&B on Inch Beach. The view from the breakfast room window was stunning, but when we entered the building the words on this bronze wall hanging caught my eye: “Bidden, or unbidden, God is present.”

I can relate to this idea that God’s presence among us is not dependent on our request.  He does not wait for us to be ready. He does not expect us to clean and decorate our hearts. He does not wait for us to welcome Him. He dwells among us in His love, in His Son, in His Spirit. God abides with us, and because of this, we abide in Him.

To abide is to remain. When Jesus came to earth, He remained for a lifetime. He lived a human life and knew our joys and struggles. He returned to heaven, yet He abides with us through His word. In heaven, or on earth, God is present.

To abide is to wait. Now, we await His return with eager anticipation. We want to abandon this world and one day abide with Jesus in heaven. In working, or in waiting, we have hope.

To abide is to rest. The world careens around us, but in Him, we find rest for our weariness. The peace of a newborn Jesus abides with us, even in the midst of turmoil. In easy times or struggle, God is peace.

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9

Because of this abiding, this love, this joy, we can look forward to the year to come with eagerness and courage. Jesus came to earth as an infant to abide with us: salvation is won, and our hope is secure. I pray His peace, strength, and love abide with you in the coming year.

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