Series: Jesus’ Final Remarks
John 15:1-5 ESV
Romans 8:28 ESV
Philippians 4:7 (WE, New Testament)
I am a nomad and my dog is my livestock.
I am a vagabond.
I am on a journey. It’s a crazy journey with God.
Even though I do not have a permanent place to call home, I am not unhappy.
That’s because I am connected to the vine. The true vine is my hiding place from a storm. The true vine is love. The true vine is my caregiver.
I wouldn’t want it any other way.
In John 15:1-5 we read, “I AM the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 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.”
When I became a vagabond I didn’t wake up one day and say, “I’m going to be a vagabond.”
I didn’t plan it, nor did I ask for it.
I asked God to show me the way so I can serve Him.
I had just retired and I wasn’t sure what my next steps would be. I didn’t know where God would lead me but in time God did make it clear.
That began a three year trial.
God did not tell me I was entering a time of trial. I would have freaked out if I would have been told it would be a long and painful trial.
I’m glad God didn’t tell me because I’m not sure I could have (or maybe would have) agreed to what I had signed up for.
When the trial began all I knew was that Jesus was the vine and I am a branch. I knew the vine would not cut me off. I knew the vine would sustain me.
No matter what happened I knew I was in Gods hands and He would not fail me. God gave me faith to sustain me. I didn’t ask for it…it was a gift.
Looking back over the last three years I have experienced heartache and pain, but I know God was using and will use everything for good.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
In my lifetime I’ve seen God bring good from bad many many times. If I could change one thing it would only be that I would have documented all of the good God brought to me, I would write a book about what God has done for me.
This trial I’ve been on for three years ended in March 1 of this year. When I woke up on that day, I knew the trial was over. I knew it because a great weight had been lifted off of me.
You see, this last trial was the longest I’ve experienced. If I’d known it would last so long I would have begged God to stop the trial. I knew from experience that when the trial had accomplished everything I needed for my future, it would pass.
On March 1st of 2023 I sat with God and I was reassured that the trial was over. I didn’t know then, Nor do I know now what God has for me.
Years ago when I sat with (and studied under) a very gifted Spiritual Director I’d guess he said to me at least 1000 times, “today is not about what you can do for God. It’s about what God HAS for you.”
That concept was foreign to me.
Even as a child I thought that I need to be a good servant for God. I thought that WAS the purpose of life with God.
While I was taught about God’s love, I somehow came to believe that God would love me because I was a good and faithful servant.
As an adult in Spiritual Direction I came to believe that God loves me no matter what. I learned that while serving God is a good “thing”, it’s about ‘works’ Theology.
Without even knowing it I was subconsciously working so that God would love me.
Then I realized that’s not how it is with God.
God loves us.
God wants to bless us.
God wants to give us eternal life today…right now.
God wants to shower us with blessings.
Philippians 4:7 tells us, “Then God will give you peace, a peace which is too wonderful to understand. That peace will keep your hearts and minds safe as you trust in Christ Jesus.”
God showered me with peace throughout my long trial. Even when very sad moments came my way I knew God’s peace covered me.
When I was a child my dad would talk about God’s peace as if nothing else compared. He was right. Nothing compares with the peace of God. I knew throughout the trial that God’s peace was covering me.
I knew God would walk with me and show me how to open my hands to what God has for me.
And so it is with God.
Even when trials come, God walks us through it. God never fails us. Ever.
Spiritual Practice: Peace
Receive God’s peace today.
In God, Deborah