Monday, March 19, 2012

Apart from Him I Can Do Nothing

I sat there in the chair as the warm water cascaded upon my head, making its way down to my toes.  My midsection was still suffering from the pains of an emergency c-section and my hormones were raging.  Hubby gently washed my post-baby figure and did his best to encourage me that "this too shall pass".  Despite his best efforts, the tears flowed freely, becoming one with the water from above.

You see, I like to be in control and do things for myself.  The fact that someone else had to bathe me was utterly humiliating.  Didn't matter that it was my husband who was serving me by stepping into the role of caregiver.  No, I didn't like being so dependent on another person.

If you're like me, this desire for control extends far beyond the desire to clean our own body.  
We like to be in the driver's seat when it comes to every area of our lives, don't we?  It goes against our very nature to hand over the reigns to someone else, giving them full authority to make all decisions.

But, this is the very thing that the Lord asks us to do.  Ultimately, whether we actually "hand it over" or tighten our grasp on the steering wheel, God is sovereign over all.  It's when we head His call to let go that we experience true freedom and joy.

How exactly do you surrender?

In John 15:5, we read the answer to that question and it is this: remain in Him.  Read His Word faithfully.  Pray unceasingly.  Run the race and stay the course.  Press on.  Because if you don't, you won't be able to do anything.  You will fail to love your husband well.  You will be lacking in your attempt to mother your children out of your own strength.  You will run out steam as you try to keep up with life's demands.

On the other side of that coin, though, is a glorious truth.  If we remain in Him, drawing nourishment from the Vine, we will bear fruit.  But, not just a little fruit.  The verse tells us that we will bear MUCH fruit.

In other words, you'll be overflowing with love for your husband.  You'll experience joy in the midst of trials and a peace that defies logic.  You'll practice patience when your children disobey and kindness as you "train them up in the way they should go".  You'll spread goodness to all you meet and be an example of faithfulness to future generations.  You'll have a spirit of gentleness and develop self-control that is unheard of in today's culture.

This doesn't mean you will be perfect; far from it, actually.  I just means that you will begin to bear the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  You will look more and more like Jesus every day.

Doesn't that sound wonderful?

It's all up to you, though.  Cling to your beloved control and in the end, accomplish nothing.  Or, allow God to take over and experience that life of abundance that John 10:10 mentions.


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