JOHN | Life Without The Frantic Pace { DAY FIFTEEN }

Read: John 15 ESV

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  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.” {John 15:4-5 ESV}

Are you frantic? Stressed? Feeling overwhelmed?

I know the feelings well. They describe me in my natural demeanor.

I’m a do-er.

Goal-driven, and responsible.

These qualities can easily send me into a prolonged state of urgency. I can feel so responsible in life that I end up feeling frantic – like I must take care of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE or the world will come crashing down.

In reality, I feel TOO responsible- as if life (including myself) all depended upon me. Between doing and knowing WHAT to do, there is always a weight of responsibility or effort necessary for each moment! Striving becomes my daily occupation, and frankly, it is EXHAUSTING!

As I ended last year and contemplated the new year, I sought the Lord for His perspective on how the year went and what needed changing. It was no secret the heavy burden I felt with my frantic state, but I couldn’t figure out how life could be lived differently. (Once again, I was the one trying to fix the problem. UGH)

Being still is a challenge for me as you may well relate. But as I quieted myself before the Lord, the lesson was clear- “Work less and abide more.

Abide…..just the sound of the word makes me want to exhale deeply with a profound sense of satisfaction and security. It sounds so inviting because it is just that- an invitation!

It is Jesus inviting us to linger with Him, trusting Him with our lives and all the responsibilities involved. He beckons us with His nature of being All-Loving, All-Knowing, and All-Powerful. If anyone is willing and able to take charge of our lives competently, it is Him!

Are we willing to give over the reins of responsibility, the frenzied pace?

Do we trust Him enough with the decisions He will make or the direction He will take?

Entering this year, I decided that I was more than ready to risk the change. I began each morning presenting my day to Him, asking Him to use it as He saw fit. It was His day to govern.

All I can say is “Oh, my goodness! What a difference?!”

At first, it was so challenging! True to what I thought would happen, interruptions or changes in plans for the day happened often. But I determined after first feeling panicky over the thought of not taking care of a pressing matter, that it was Christ who was responsible for it anyway.

So I would inwardly give over the reins of responsibility time and again throughout the day as I felt stress, asking Jesus to bear the burden on my behalf. And you know what happened? Christ began to bear more than the burden, He began to bear the FRUIT!

I entered a beautiful state of restfulness yet all the while, there was much fruit!

That is ABIDING!

What a relief to let go of the reins yet bear more fruit than ever before! This is where I want to remain, abiding with Jesus as He takes the responsibility for my life.

Reflect:

  • Do you feel a frantic pace in life? Overwhelmed with responsibilities? Ask Jesus for His perspective on any changes needed.
  • Are you starting each day spending time with the Lord? Do you read your Bible, pray, and worship daily? Give God the responsibility for the gift of your day and follow His lead.
  • How do you respond to the burdensome feelings of responsibility that can come like waves? Prayerfully commit these moments to Christ and trust Him to govern them appropriately.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am not able, nor meant, to handle all that I am responsible for so please take the lead! I present this day to You and pray You will use it as You deem necessary. Direct it, interrupt it, purpose it as only You can. When I feel anxiety over something, I will cast my cares upon You. This day is from You, through You and to You for Your glory forever. Amen.

 

 

Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen Fleming
Gretchen's passion is to follow hard after Jesus, knowing He is the treasure of a lifetime and worth every minute she commits to Him. God’s Word has been life-giving to her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and writer, who loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is a wife of 28 years and mother of 3 young adult children.

19 Comments

  1. Cathy says:

    This is such a helpful reminder and wonderful invitation of Jesus – to abide in him. Thanks Gretchen.

  2. I needed to read this tonight as I’m prone to focus on what “I” didn’t get done. Tomorrow promises to be another busy day, but I’m going to be meditating on these thoughts as I start out. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Liz Rigby says:

    I love that thought “Jesus invites us to linger”….only he can grow the fruit, no amount of our trying can get it done!

  4. Mandy Hughes says:

    Wonderful post, Gretchen! My One Word for last year was rest and, oh my, the impact made on my life was significant. It all depended on trust. Would I trust Jesus with my day, my time, my money? Resting in Him allowed me to spend time with Him, without the guilt or fear that I should be doing something more productive. What could be more productive than being with our Maker? Thank you for the encouragement today 🙂

    • You speak to the heart of it well Mandy- trust. Do we trust Him enough with guiding and providing for our lives ? Or do we feel the need to do what we think ought to be done ? I agree abiding is a whole lot more productive than if we are running the show at full steam. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Julie says:

    I’m this way too Gretchen. Everything depends on me and then my body couldn’t take the stress anymore.
    Trying to relearn and be different when you’re set in your ways is hard😕
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Be encouraged Julie. I am seeing more freedom that I thought possible. I am not getting sucked into what I shouldn’t, feeling joy and lightness about my day, even when others and drama are swirling about me. Lol I have been thinking lately I had no idea it could be like this. Reading books has helped me also recognize some of my less than profitable tendencies I had not realized before. God is such a good God to show us what are trouble is amd lead us from it☺️🙏🙌 so keep going Julie! It will happen my friend for you too!!

  6. I don’t like frantic, hectic or thinking I have to do everything for everybody, I just can’t people pleasing leaves me out totally. I have to live in the book of John.

    • I don’t like the feelings either Rebecca and John has helped me as well to practically know how to expect differently out of life and myself. Thanks for visiting Rebecca!

  7. Maree Dee says:

    Gretchen,

    Oh, this hit home. I have worked so hard at resting with God, saying “no,” to more things, and not feeling responsible for everything and everyone. I do great for awhile, and it creeps back up on me. Time to reevaluate.

    I do try to spend daily time with God first thing in the morning. I have a special chair with my Bible right by it. It makes all the difference in the world to start my day with him.

    Thank you for this post. I am sharing it on Facebook.

    • Oh Maree! Only a “doer” has to work hard at resting! 😂😂 We are cut from the same cloth friend! I so get that. Lol I agree that time with Him first thing is critical to me having the correct perspective and priorities for the day. I am sunk without it. Thanks for visiting Maree😉👍

  8. Can so relate to this, Gretchen. I was raised to be a doer. Or as my sister says, a human-doer and not a human being. Letting go and not trying to do so much for everyone and everything is hard, but like you say, so worth the effort. Abiding in Him, instead of doing it all our self, really is the way.

    • Oh isn’t it?! Abiding makes life so much more pleasurable! I don’t feel pressure when I have my mind and heart in the right perspective. I agree about how easy it can be interrupted if I’m not mindful. But the good thing is that as soon as I recognize that feeling of pressure of a burden, I am able to inwardly cast my anxieties back onto Him and shift the responsibility back to Him. Thanks for visiting Theresa!

  9. Oh Gretchen, I’m a doer and striver too! And feel far too often that it depends on me. Abiding is an invitation and it is the BEST. Hav eyou read Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray? I suspect you’d appreciate it! Thanks for extending the invitation today!

    • Yes I have and I LOVE the classics! I also like They Found The Secret ” which is a compilation of several well known believers in ministry like Hudson Taylor and such. It describes how such people learned the secret of abiding and described their process. I was just thinking how over-responsibility is really a lie. Why would we ever think we needed to be so frantic with productivity and responsibilities anyway? Such a scheme of the enemy like described in the Screwtape Letters. Thanks for visiting Bethany!

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