Thursday, July 3, 2014


We've been talking about so many wonderful things here at my residency in Rwanda.  I love going to a Christian school for my Master's where the Christian part is really important (quite unlike my experience at Baylor for undergrad).  All of us are doing great work outside of the classroom all based on a love for people that stems directly from our love for Christ.

Anyway, we were having a morning devotional, led by a student and she told us to close our eyes and make a mental picture of the word "abide."  She wanted us to have a literal picture in our mind of that word that we could access throughout the year.  As soon as I closed my eyes and for no apparent reason at all, this is the picture I saw (Phil Gibson, you will love this more than anyone).
I opened my eyes quickly because I thought, "that's weird."  Then I closed them again to that picture and it all came together for me.  

If you know the story of "The Giving Tree," it is a story of unconditional love, of friendship, of mother or father hood, I have felt for the past 16 years. . . but as I pictured the word, "abide," I felt a peace and restfulness wash over me because this is what God is calling me to.  Throughout my relationship with Him I have come to Him out of my selfishness because He is faithful.  I continue to come out of need out of want out of me and He gives and gives and gives because He loves me.  Again, I need to come to Him, but I need to rest and abide and just be.  But I need to come because I need Him, not just what I can get out of Him.  I need to rest with Him.  Unlike this tree, however, God has so much more to give me--his branches and apples aren't all gone and wasted by me (thankfully), but I need to remember to just abide in Him.  I need to find peace in my crazy.  I need to find rest in my exhausted.  I need to take time to be with Him.

It was so refreshing that God gave me this mental picture. . . of a book I have called my favorite for so long but has been dusty on the shelf for a decade or so.  So, as this student challenged us, I am going to hold on to this mental picture for the year as a reminder to rest and to abide in selfless fellowship and contentment (I added the last part).

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