A Fierce Abiding

{Encountering Jesus happens in the most normal moments for me. I need you to know that, friends. I need you know His heart is to invade your normal with extraordinary. This post will start as a mom, but will evolve into the point of entry Jesus has with me and how He got my attention for a much broader purpose to us at any stage in life.  I want you to be in this moment of “Abiding passion” with me so I will set the scene best I can over how God revealed the BEST prayer for our day while I was having a morning chat with my son.}

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My Coach Man works during the day at the elementary school my girls are at so he is given the beautiful privilege of taking Ainsley and Shelby Kate to school. It’s quick but, he gets to spend just a few fast minutes at the front end of each day intentionally sowing Daddy love into them.  Because Toby is able to take the girls to school I have been given a beautiful fifteen minutes of one on one time with my man child, Cade, each morning as I take him to the middle school.

Yes, I realize I labeled those minutes as a beautiful privilege. I also know they are hairy, early, fast, coffee slurping, I am always in my jammies, water bottle filling, lunch box searching, hair doing, outfit finding, folder signing, not always having the best most cheerful attitude school mornings…..BUT…..I also know they are flying by and someday I will wake up and not have a lunch to pack, folder to sign or a car pool to organize….and I will indeed miss the crazy joy of it all.

Because it is a tension of both, you know.  One part crazy. A couple of more parts joy. And all at once you find yourself in the middle of building a life.

My oldest is my only man-child. Gosh, I have such a crush on him. He made me a mom. He’s my bud. I’ve watched him navigate a million tough transitions and rise above them over and over again. He is ten and he is far from perfect, but being his momma is the thrill of my life.

We have good talks. I started our “talks” before he could babble a word. For the longest time I talked to him as he babbled. Then he learned some words and we started having little convos. Then all at once we started having back and forth chats. I live for them. He is just the coolest in my book and I could listen to his heart for hours.

We talk about friends. We talk about life with sisters. We talk about our favorite pro football team, the Patriots. We always seem to round out our conversations somewhere to the 30 for 30 “The Brady 6” {…boy moms will understand the importance of my willingness to memorize this particular 30 for 30….talking shop about Tom Brady has been crucial to my relationship with my man-child.} We talk about daddy’s defensive backs. We talk about influence. We talk about hard times. We talk about sacrifice. We talk about calling. I keep trying to bring up girls and he just blushes. Cutie.

We have good talks. This morning’s car talk swirled around the importance of not quitting when something seems hard or challenging or tests the committed meddle in our hearts.  I looked over at his face with fall sunshine splitting through the car window, saw the resolve in his eyes he had to push through a particularly hard situation where the brokenness of the earth is sort of splashing up on him and I was amazed. I truly saw Jesus just right there with him. I realized his current “hard” was building trust in Jesus abiding with Cade. Instead of giving him a million strategies on how to overcome hard stuff all that came out was, “Cade, just keep asking Jesus to abide with you, to be right with you.” Through the radio was Matt Redman’s {Abide with Me} and girls, the tears just welled up in my eyes and I couldn’t stop them.

“Abide with me. Abide with me. Don’t let me fall. And don’t let go. Walk with me. And never leave. Ever close, God abide with me.”

That’s it, that’s everything.

Amidst turning the steering wheel down Amherst to Lovers Lane and coffee slurps the words of abiding were flying through my suburban.

I mean to express this story of my morning car ride with Cade to you in the grittiest, non-fluffy kind of way, dear friends. I mean to say these things to you today just like I was sharing them when my son. Jesus is as near as your breath TODAY. Someone needs to know that. Whether you are a mom, a sister, a friend, a wife, a single, a daughter, a dang human for crying out loud…you say the word and Jesus will give you revelation to His abiding presence with you.  And our greatest prayer should NOT be over the ancillary issues of the day. Yes, we pray specifics, but don’t miss the beginning point. Our greatest prayer is this:

“Lord, you have walked this broken earth before me. Abide with me and never leave me. Ever close, God abide with me.”

Because we don’t know how to answer all the questions, all the issues, all the conflicts, all the stresses, all the things that contend against embracing full joy all day. Our heads could spin over all the mountains arising before us.

Oh, but we are anchored to this glorious Hope! Abiding is where it’s at ya’ll. All day, every day. Abiding is the deep stuff. Abiding happens when the centrality of the character of God rises to the top of our souls and hovers in protection, grace and wisdom.

This isn’t a soft prayer, ladies. This is a fierce prayer as our hands grip the leather of our steering wheels in determination to believe Jesus at his Word.

Abide with me, Jesus.

Abide with my children, Jesus.

Abide with my husband, Jesus.

Abide with my work, Jesus.

Abide with in my mind, Jesus.

Abide with the hard issues, Jesus.

The issues of our day are hard. We can shrink back and hide out or we can run to meet them determined to allow the abiding of Jesus to guide our souls, our sin, our dark hours, our talks or our decision making paradigms. Beloved, friends, do not shrink today. Abide, fiercely.

“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. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes, you mature as my disciples.” {John 15:5-8}

Believe with all your guts and live appropriating the belief of Abiding. Set your face like flint to look towards Jesus no matter what issues, fears, questions, contending or decisions you are facing today. As we actively teach our souls to abide in Jesus, HE will give us full wisdom to navigate every day, endurance to pray through every issue, speed to invade every conflict with His Peace, and humility to surrender insecurity to the Lordship of holy confidence. Call to His responsibility for your life and His promise over you. He will not let go of us, of our families or of His calling over our lives as we willfully abide with Him.

Ever close, God abide with us. As we grip the heart of heaven while we walk this dirt-tossing earth Your Love will not ever let us go.

Because, dear hearts, Jesus needs us to be stirred at our steering wheels sometimes in the middle of school drop off with our kids or smack dab in the middle of our work day or in the middle of a long run and just let the Abiding of His Spirit scope our perspective, run tears down our face and settle our souls into determined faith and triumphant calling.

May we be called into deep Abiding with our sweet Jesus today, who has overcome…it….ALL.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” –Jesus. {John 16:33}

 

 

Comments

  1. Susan Brown says:

    Thank you, this was things I needed to hear! Amen!

  2. Thank you Cari, for sharing your heart with us. My man child is 42! He will always be a 5 year old in my heart, with arms outstretched daily to His Saviour now, where I used to be the daily prize! I am so thankful that Gods’ Abiding with us is forever.

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