Today’s QT. John 15:1-8. Special one.
Thanks for reminding me about pruning. That apart from You I can do nothing.
“Seek always to retain His company, for only in His presence do you have comfort or safety. Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore. You have a difficult road before you: See that you do not go without your guide. You had to pass through the fiery furnace; do not enter it unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have the Son of God to be your companion. You have to storm the Jericho of your own corruptions: Do not attempt the warfare until, like Joshua, you have seen the Captain of the Lord’s host with His sword drawn in His hand. In every case, in every condition, you will need Jesus, but most of all when the iron gates of death open to you. Keep close to your soul’s Husband, lean your head upon His bosom, and you shall be found of Him at the last, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” – Spurgeon
What I wasn’t expecting from You though, was more ‘coincidences’.
Opened Sabbatical Journey to where I last stopped – and there, 3 consecutive entries by Henri Nouwen which gave form to how I’ve been feeling, things I’ve been thinking about! I haven’t been able to find the best words for them – and then here I find that Henri Nouwen has, 15 years ago, written them for me already!
Classic. This is so You. Vintage God. * Goosebumps *
Tuesday, May 14, 1996
… Jesus invites me to abide in His love (John 15). That means to dwell with all that I am in Him. It is an invitation to a total belonging, to full intimacy, to an unlimited being-with… My mind and heart keep running away from my true dwelling place; and they explore strange lands where I end up in anger, resentment, lust, fear and anguish. … Somehow I keep living as if there are other sources of life that I must explore, outside of Jesus. But Jesus keeps saying, “… Trust that with Me you will find rest.”… My true spiritual work is to let myself be loved, fully and completely, and to trust that in that love I will come to the fulfillment of my vocation. I keep trying to bring my wandering, restless, anxious self home, so that I can rest there in the embrace of love.
Wednesday, May 15, 1996
I am painfully aware that more than eight months of my sabbatical year have passed. When I reread some of my early journal entries about my hopes for long times of solitude, prayer, and writing, I have to laugh at myself. The year has been different from my expectations and has been one of the busiest and most involved years I can remember.
But still, it’s been a wonderful year. I did not write as much as I planned, but I wrote a lot, I did not pray as much as I planned, but my experience of God has deepened in my writing. I haven’t been as alone as I hoped, but I’ve had much more solitude than before.
I look with some apprehension toward September, because I feel far from ready to end my sabbatical. My mind is fuller than ever with ideas for my writing. I know that my return to Daybreak is only realistic if I continue to do some writing, because without it I will dry up interiorly and will quickly feel tired and depressed. I’m grateful that Sue, Nathan and others at Daybreak agree with me. I am encouraged that they support my desire to build a small house for myself where I will have some space for writing.
If I look back and compare what happened with what I anticipated, I realize that I can’t fruitfully predict what will happen. God must remain the God of surprises.
Thursday, May 16, 1996
Life is “a little while”, a short moment of waiting. But life is not empty waiting. It is to wait full of expectation… This “little while” is a precious time. It is a time of purification and sanctification… What is my main task during my “little while”? I want to point to the signs of the Kingdom to come, to speak about the first rays of the day of God, to witness to the many manifestations of the Holy Spirit among us. I do not want to complain about this passing world but to focus on the eternal that lights up in the midst of the temporal. I yearn to create space where it can be seen and celebrated.