Thoughts from my Charging Cord
I don't know if your home is anything like ours when it comes to electronic devices . . . but it seems like we have an ever-recurring issue with charging cords disappearing. We may have one that stays in the outlet by the couch for weeks and then all of a sudden, it is nowhere to be found.
And NO ONE has any idea where it disappeared to.
It's really a 1st world, problem, I understand that. But I really enjoy the convenience of being able to plug in my phone when the battery percentage is low and not have to first go on a hunt around the house to find a cord (especially since the battery on my iPhone 6 is really random in how long it likes to stay charged).
So, why am I writing about a charging cord? Well, a word picture came to me yesterday when I was journaling about a rough patch that I've been walking through. I'm not very consistent with pulling out my journal and grabbing a pen to write down my thoughts. But, I do know that if my head if feeling a bit muddy and things aren't very clear inside my brain, there is something very therapeutic about letting those thoughts flows out of my fingers onto a page of my journal.
It's like the jumbled mess somehow gets a little less confusing if it's filtered through
the ink of a pen.
Not to mention, I love looking back on past journal entries to see how God has helped me through things that seemed like mountains in the past.
Anyways, back in February, I felt the exact same way and God spoke very clearly to me on the subject of REST (I blogged about that season here). Yesterday, as I was struggling through some of the same thoughts and brain fog, I went back to read what God had shown me then, and re-read through a section of a book that has been a huge help throughout this season.
In "You are Free, Be Who You Already Are" by Rebekah Lyons, she tells the story of a vine that she noticed while visiting Israel. There was a leaf on the vine that was torn, and kind of just blowing in the breeze. But instead of just being left to itself, the vine had actually wrapped itself around the torn leaf and was holding it fast to itself.
In a world where busyness is encouraged, and in a community where hard work is something we are proud of, I was just struck by the thought of abiding in the vine and allowing ourselves to rest. My personality is very much of a go-getter, and when I mix that with my Mennonite heritage (one that I'm not ashamed of at all),
I'm not one to just sit around and let things happen.
I will do my best to make sure things are taken care, fixed, or at least looked after.
But I think that too often, I treat my relationship with Jesus like a charging cord.
Plug in for a bit, read my Bible, say a quick prayer, and then off I go, ready to conquer whatever problems today may throw at me.
And I am totally missing it.
In John 15, Jesus could not say it in more simpler terms,
"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing." (MSG)
Did you catch that? I don't know how many times I've read through these verses, but it seemed to click yesterday in a way it hasn't in the past. We are not intended to receive a quick battery charge, and then unplug and go off and do our own thing.
He is not just another charging cord.
Is it any wonder that I've been operating on fumes, so to speak? Disconnected from the vine, a branch will not continue to function or even look full of life. Within hours, it starts to wilt, and then dies completely off.
But did you know that it's not the job of the branch to whip up it's own nutrients in order to create fruit?
It's only responsibility is to stay connected to the vine.
The vine is full of nutrients and nourishment. And as the branch stays connected, those nutrients flow into it from the vine. What a sweet picture of what our Saviour does for us as our vine.
Rebekah Lyons puts it this way,
"I'd always thought my closeness with Jesus was dependent on me.
Consequently, I was an Energizer bunny for him.
But Jesus' love draws us in for one thing: to come into his presence and his rest,
to stop working and doing and striving, to remain in him. That's it."
Sounds so simple, and yet quieting my brain and forcing myself to just rest & trust is not easy. Like, at all.
But it's a season that Jesus is walking me through right now, and I am guessing that there may be others out there like me. So, instead of being frustrated at my wilted leaves, I'm going to just rest and allow the vine to wrap itself around my broken pieces.
And instead of plugging in for a quick charge, I want more of a permanent PICC line, with nourishment flowing in that can only come from the Vine.
So, if you see me dragging an IV pole along beside me, you know why.