Abiding Days

Feb 24, 2022 9:00:00 AM / by Tera Michelson

How are you? No, really—I mean this question as more than a greeting. Let’s take an inventory: How are you doing personally? Professionally? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Spiritually? An informal poll among ministry colleagues finds us teetering in many of these categories, trying to find stability and peace. I hear you and I see you, youth worker friend! You are not alone.

These are the dark and short days. No matter what your local groundhog reported, we’re heading into the church season of Lent—forty days of persisting, enduring, and coping. These are the somber days of the church year and as they merge with more difficult days of the pandemic, it feels doubly gloomy.

In John 15:4, Jesus encourages us to abide with a story about the vine and the branches: “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”

Abide to reconnect

Jesus calls us to dwell in God’s love, trust in God’s promises, and persist in our life-giving relationship with God. Only with this kind of connection to the vine can we branches truly be productive. This Lent, regain balance and peace by settling into this solemn season and reconnecting with your creator.

Abide first

In our western approach to work, we often get this notion backwards, mistakenly thinking that when we work hard enough, we earn God’s love. We are disappointed when our work bears shriveled or no fruit. While we abide, it could appear as if nothing is happening, but this is when much of the hard work of strengthening a relationship takes place. We learn. We grow. We get pruned (ouch!), but we grow back stronger.

Abide your way

Find what method works best for you to reconnect with God. For some this means being alone with God; for others it is being surrounded by God’s people. You can abide with activity or with stillness, by saying “Yes,” or by saying “No.” Study, serve, dance, pray, play, or sit—whatever strengthens your link to the vine.

The harvest is coming

Lent is a turning point in North America, when day-by-day, the sunlight hours get longer. This Lent can be your turning point. Turn your face toward the sun and remember that the harvest is coming. May the fruits of these abiding days be juicy and sweet!

Topics: self-care

Tera Michelson

Written by Tera Michelson

Tera Michelson is a silver-haired youth leader, serving the church since 1994. She loves Jesus and teens. She is a pastor’s spouse, mother of three, and writes at the world’s loudest house on a hilly street in Ohio.


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