Branches

Do you ever have one of those days where you come to the end of it and you feel absolutely drained? Do you ever have those days when you feel like it takes every ounce of your energy just to get through it? I had one of those days recently. Newsflash: Those days suck. A lot. Sometimes life has a way of sucking you dry.

Life is hard, y’all. I heard someone say once that Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a yoke and that there isn’t still a burden. I don’t know about you but I’m the kind of person that when life gets tough, my first reaction is to grit my teeth and push on. I’m a do-er. If there’s a problem of some sort in my life, my instinct is to do something. I feel like if I just try hard enough, I can get through anything; I can fix anything. When things get absolutely impossible, then maybe I’ll turn to God. I’ve begun to learn that one of the roots of that attitude is pride. Essentially, I’m saying, “Yeah God, I got this handled. I’ll let you know when I need you. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

That attitude is obviously not good. So how do we fight it? The answer is counterintuitive. It goes against common sense. The do-er inside me kicks and screams against it. The answer is to rest in Jesus. And if I’m honest, I absolutely hate that. If God gave us a 17-step plan on how to live the Christian life, I’d be down with it. I’d figure out exactly what I need to do and plan and strategize and get everything figured out. But God doesn’t give us some long, complicated plan. He keeps it simple. Jesus says, “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.”

So check it. Jesus didn’t say, “Whoever tries real hard and puts forth maximum effort, he it is that bears much fruit.” No, Jesus says it’s whoever abides in Him. So Jesus is telling us that in order to produce fruit, we shouldn’t focus on producing fruit but on abiding in Him. The key to getting through life’s rachet parts isn’t striving to get through them. It’s striving to get closer to Jesus.

It’s not easy. It goes against everything that our flesh wants to do. So how do we learn to rely on Jesus when the going gets rough? We learn by relying on Him when the going is easy. When your grades are great, ask God to empower you to continue to do well in your studies. When you’ve finally met that special someone, ask God to help you continue to be man/woman of God he created you to be. Get in the habit of asking for God’s help even when you feel like you don’t really need it.(Pssst. You actually really do need it) Then when life throws you a curveball, you’re already abiding in Him. I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m terrible at abiding in the Lord. But y’all. When you do, it’s so worth it. Without Him, we can do nothing. But with Him, He can do anything.

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