Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ATTACHED & CLINGY


"I am the vine. You are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing." (John 15:5, NIV)

Once upon a time, I was a professional person. I thought I was in full control, managing millions of dollars in investments, taking nice vacations, doing as I pleased. I started to realize I wasn't in control when my husband and I had difficulty with getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term. It was at that time that I surrendered; first, by becoming a believer in the saving grace of Jesus; next, by wholeheartedly praying, "THY will be done," when it came to the issues of building a family. But it wasn't until our 2nd child was born with severe hemophilia A that I became a clingy woman, letting go of all my control (which, in reality, was very little) and wrapping myself around The One who's truly in the driver's seat.

I am a living testimony to, "...apart from me, you can do nothing." Apart from Jesus, I could not have abandoned my old life of chronic worry when a true source of worry surfaced. Apart from my Savior, I could not manage starting and IV push on my young son every other day with my typically shaky hands. Apart from my Lord, I could not handle the challenges of daily living with this disorder, including school, siblings, and outside activities. Apart from Him, I would be overcome by bitterness from endlessly dealing with doctors, insurance companies and those who are ignorant.

I always want to laugh when people throw the cliche, "God never gives you more than you can handle," at me. I want to shout, You think I can handle this? What I've come to understand is that God does allow us to experience more than we can handle, so we learn to fully rely on Him.

In his devotional version of the outstanding book SECRETS OF THE VINE, Bruce Wilkinson states, "As we come to the end of our power, we encounter the beginning of God's power. If we allow God to work, our faith will grow in ways we never thought possible. For first-century Christians, trials turned the raw ore of new belief into the steal of unshakable faith. And God used them to change the world... After all, if we don't face new and even more difficult challenges, we don't need a greater level of faith. So God "pushes us" over the line. He allows circumstances to take us past what we can handle to teach us what God can handle through us. And our faith grows dramatically."

I don't know about you, but I want my life and all it's challenges to matter. I want my struggles to bear good fruit. If you share that desire, join me in staying attached and clinging to Him. After all, apart from Him, we're pretty ineffective!

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