“Crrrunch! Crrrunch!” Each time I make a step further, my legs wobble and and my boots sank deep onto the snow. For someone who is experiencing winter for the first time, I found myself savoring the moment. This is amazing. I am actually walking on snow.
I pushed myself forward against the arctic chill. Exhaling visible mists and gritting my teeth, I trudged towards the bus stop.
The wind continuously blew across my face. And then, it starting to feel like my nose’ no longer there. (Frosty could use another carrot for a replacement but I’m not intending to have a new one)
Finally, I got a ride before I lose any body part. Through the opaque windows, the street pavements looked helplessly buried under snow; leafless, dormant trees rooted on a frozen mantle; traffic slowly moving on roads layered with icy film; people,puffed up from wearing all sorts of insulation, are scuttling their way to work.
Chilly conditions necessarily require adding a layer of insulation. It can trap body heat and buffer the colder external air. One of them are Down jackets.
I’m wearing one right now. In fact, I’m also wearing a thick sweater, a thermal wear and an inner shirt underneath. I don’t have any plans replacing Frosty for a new movie.(although that could mean a Hollywood exposure for me).
Manufacturers describe Down jackets as extremely warm and comfortable for they have excellent natural feather insulation. I failed to read more about them and I chose to rely on my limited experience. Guess what? Apart from looking like an inflated balloon, it really felt too warm inside.
The same thing happens when we steer the wheel of life by ourselves.
Jesus says, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NLT, emphasis mine)
I am learning three truths from this verse.
The verse ends as,“For apart from Me you can do nothing.”
I heard someone say,”God will not allow difficult situations taking place in our lives if we can’t handle them.” The world’s optimism encourages us– we can manage our situations by way of our unexplored abilities that only needs awakening. I agree, we are blessed with individual talents. However, we don’t know the manual completely. Only our Maker does. Paul encourages us, “Do not think you are better than you really are. But think of yourself as you are. You are what you are because God has given you something when you believed.” (Romans 12:3, NCV, emphasis mine)
In his book, Forgotten God, Francis Chan wrote, “God wants us to walk in step with His Spirit rather than depend solely on the raw talent and knowledge He has given us.” God respects our liberty, nonetheless, He desires for His children to have wisdom which we don’t innately possess. He is just waiting for us to ask.
I am reminded that only His wisdom will make my life more secured and it starts by trusting His will rather than what I think is best.
Jesus then emphasizes,“Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.”
I acknowledge, I have grown some weight but not in wisdom. If dogs receive treats for their obedience, I had mine the other way around. I need to be selective in my food choices. And just like with food, I should feed myself with the best option that can nutritiously benefit my soul.
In her article, Maturing Spiritually, Michelle Arthur wrote,”God calls us to mature in our faith and be disciplined in our pursuit of Him while He pursues us”.
I confess, when my life gets crowded, I occasionally read and meditate on my Bible.
“God reveals the truth about Himself in His Word, not for the sake of knowledge, but for the sake of relationship with us. He tells us about Himself so we will put our faith in Him, so we will treasure and worship Him and not waste ourselves on man-made idols.”(Harris, 2010)
Furthermore, in the Bible, James elucidates,”Do not merely listen to the Word….do what it says.”(James 1:22, NIV, emphasis mine)
Jesus begins with an awe-inspiring truth,“I am the Vine; you are the branches.”
Both grace and growth came from the Vine.
One amazing Pastor said,“What makes mankind unique is that we are all created to reflect our Creator”. And every piece of life around us bear His autograph.
Francis Chan confesses, “When I live by my own power and strength, relying solely on my natural talents to see me through, then people naturally praise me for how am I living. But when I am living in a way that requires me to depend on the Holy Spirit, people respond by praising my Father in Heaven.”(Chan, 2010)
I desire to resonate God’s frequency to those around me.
Life is not all about living it to the fullest but living out His love to the fullest. This transformation in our lives lucidly translates to people around us the Good News: all we need in life, we can only find in His unending love.