May 21

May 21
by BJ Bushur

 

Read:  John 15: 1-8

John 15: 7-8: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” 

When the Shelter In Place order was first given, my mind wandered to all the positive things I could now do, all the things on my “to-do list:” home projects, clean the garage/closets, etc.….all the “busyness” I typically procrastinate on in my “busy” work/family/social/volunteer life.  Well, it’s Day 50, and I still haven’t gotten to much of that “business.”   Maybe that was not God’s plan…

One refrain from the 80’s Smith’s song kept ringing in my head:  “The devil will find work for idle hands to do” from “What Difference Does it Make?” quoting the old English proverb.  I needed to make sure this Shelter In Place doesn’t equate to letting Satan let me (or my family) stand idle!  Bad stuff can happen in Silicon Valley if we sit idle…or so I thought…

The irony is that the worry about becoming too idle during Shelter In Place shows us our idols in our “busy” lives.  I have found in my walk with Jesus, that I have a lot of idols in my life that take my focus off Jesus.  Our human sinfulness shows up in:  workaholic tendencies, consuming ourselves with family, exercise, love of sports teams, spending time with friends, etc.  The world might say these are “good” things. But I know in the extreme, they can be idols that take my focus off Jesus.   Worry about idleness shines a bright light on our idols.  On the opposite end of the idle spectrum is “busyness.”  When I say “I am too busy,” this phrase has become an alarm bell to show me:  “potential idol.”  What exactly am I “too busy” with? 

Then I remembered God’s promises in John 15: 1-8:  Jesus is the vine; God is the Gardener…and “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit. He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  Ah yes, we all need pruning!  And with Shelter In Place, we have now experienced pruning like no other time in our lives.  We have been pruned from what the world deems as good things and bad things.  But God has promised us that we will bear much fruit, if we remain in Him, He will remain in us. (John 15) We are called as his disciples to focus on Jesus, not our idols.  Not our to-do lists.  Not our sadness about what “busyness” we are missing out on because we are Sheltering in Place. When we “let go, and let God,” we abide in our loving Gardener, and His Son, Our Vine, is glorified.  We are being pruned, so we can “bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be <Jesus’> disciples.” John 15:8

Jesus shows us how abide in Him, walk with Him, love like Him.

Let’s Pray:  Thank you, Jesus, for pruning me, us…For pruning all who love You.  Help us turn from our idleness, idols, and focus on You. Help us abide in You, Lord. 

“Abide with Me”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIuC9-4aB7Q


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