Lessons in Abiding #2
Psalm 23:3a He restores my soul.
Isn’t it the sweetest gift to hold a baby while he drifts off to sleep? Listening to his rhythmic breathing, inhaling his new-life scent, gazing at his porcelain skin, feeling the warmth of his body against yours.
And if you wait long enough, his arms and hands that he keeps tucked to his chest will slowly relax until they spread wide and heavy in a posture of surrender, ceasing from all effort.
That’s the moment I hear Jesus say, “Amy, this is abiding.”
As a baby transitions from fully awake to fully at rest, I’m certain he isn’t ordering his mind to silence the nagging thoughts, or telling his heart to be still, or asking his soul why it’s disturbed within him.
In his weakness, the baby trusts he’s safe in the strong arms of the one who holds him close.
God created our souls with the same intent, to be like the weaned child in his mother’s arms—quiet, calm, and content within us (Psalm 131:2). God can, and desires to, restore our souls to their original state.
Can you hear the accusations of the enemy? You’ll never be able to experience this on earth. It’s impossible in this fallen world.
There is truth to these claims because the flesh is always ready to assert itself, and as Andrew Murray says, “The dangers that threaten the soul’s rest are not a few.” It’s difficult to think we can attain stillness of soul in this world, but, in Christ alone, it’s possible this side of heaven. Otherwise, Jesus wouldn’t refer to Himself as the True Vine and us as the branches, urging us to abide in Him.
Here’s the greatest relief—abiding is meant for the weak. It’s available to anyone willing to come to Christ as a fully dependent child.
“[Abiding] is not the doing of some great thing and does not demand that we first lead a very holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept—the unfaithful one casting self on One who is altogether trustworthy and true.” Andrew Murray