It’s calm and cozy here.
There are toys strewn about and noises fill the air. Sounds of laughter, joy, excitement, and child’s play. Dishes fill the sink. Crumbs cover the floor. Paper, remnants of food, and other trinkets clutter the countertops while being held hostage by the stickiness of life.
Despite what some may see as the appearance of chaos unfolding, this is our happy place – our home. While it is messy and loud and unorganized, it is also controlled and surrounded by love. There is a presence lingering amongst us. When we choose to acknowledge and honor it, the tone of our home is set to a level of peace.
Life is calm and cozy, safe and protected, secure and peaceful when we seek Jesus first and give Him our best. When we cling to Him, remain in Him and allow His Spirit to enter the walls of our heart and home and border them with a padded cushion of love and refuge. Then and only then will the chaos become controlled and transformed into a place of worship.
Choosing to abide in Christ is like a safe haven to live in.
I detected this difference recently within my home. I noticed the stress level was lowered, unnecessary anger dissipated, and overall contentment achieved. It was like the activity and interaction within my home was exuberating the ‘thankful | grateful | blessed’ mentality. It was an incredible change of pace to witness.
But how and why the sudden, perhaps even drastic, change?
I believe it began years ago when a Seeking Grace & Gratitude Instagram follower asked me to pray for her to learn how to abide in Christ. While I had heard that phrase before, “abide in Christ,” I was completely unsure of what it meant so I began researching it so I could pray for this woman specifically and intentionally. One thing led to another and then one day while working through a devotional, I felt the Spirit speaking to me. It was like He was pulling me away from my self so I could be attached to Jesus, like we were one within each other.
“Stay joined to Me and let My teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered.”John 15:7 (CEV)
It seems crazy, even to me recalling the situation and typing it here to proclaim it to you. Amazing is the only word I can think to describe it. It was as if all along I was seeking a deeper connection and then finally received it all because of this incredible woman asking me to pray for her!
I immediately sensed a difference in my heart. A craving that was satisfied because I attached myself to the vine and was producing new life. But even though I was satisfied, I was still wanting more which kept me going back for replenishment.
Instead of waking up in the morning to mindlessly watch television for an hour before the rest of the fam woke up, I was finding myself enjoying a cup of coffee and then sitting down in silence to bask in the Word (something I always wanted to do but couldn’t find the energy or persistence to do it). Listening to worship music for an hour or two during the day turned into a constant playlist of discovering new artists/song/genres within the Christian music sphere. Additionally, I developed a need to be covered with the presence of Spirit. I say it’s a need because I existed for so many years considering it as a hope, idea, or thought. Now, however, I believe it is something I cannot live without. What used to feel like work or an obligation became moments I couldn’t get enough of. I am consumed with seeking Jesus and I love every second of it!
It was that strong connection, true abidance, and complete fulfillment that made my heart and soul feel safe and protected. Therefore, my entire household felt safe and protected. Impenetrable, really. When a child sees its mom and dad spending time in God’s Word and when the music playing throughout their home is that of praise and worship it is pretty hard for the enemy to enter in. There is power in the name of Jesus and with that power comes the strength to shut the door on Satan. Turning your back on the enemy and not welcoming him into your home but instead covering your walls with a protective padding will make your home so secure that nothing will be able to harm or destroy you.
I have learned this and after experiencing this haven I never want to go back to the unsafe zone. But I know I am vulnerable. I know I am weak and broken and flawed. And I also know that abiding in Jesus will allow me to conquer any darkness and all evil that may try to destroy me.
Running into our Father’s arms, clinging to the cross, and connecting, remaining, and abiding in Christ is how we were designed to live. I’ve been on the other side of the fence as a piece of fallen fruit left dead on the ground. Growing on the vine is the only way to survive this world and thrive outside of it.
In this safe haven with You, my precious Savior, I pray I will abide in You.
“Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”1 John 2:6 (ESV)