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Faith Imagined: Abiding

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

August 12, 2009


Boy Lessons - Part 3

I take all three of my kids to the gym with me. My baby girl is 5 months, so I cart her around in her stroller. My two boys stay close to me as we walk through the parking lot to the sidewalk that leads to the gym's Kids' Club. My boys know to stay close to me in the parking lot because the cars scare them and they sense the danger. Once we get to the sidewalk, however, it's a free-for-all, and they run ahead of me.

When we first began this walk, I would urge them to stay close. My heart raced because drivers are constantly cruising down the street looking for parking, and one of my boys could easily take a few steps off of the sidewalk and get hit. Also, the boys would get to the Kids' Club so fast that they would have to wait for me to catch up. They couldn't enter in without me, so they just stood there anxiously crying for me to hurry.

One particularly nerve-wracking morning, they ran ahead of me again. I kept yelling for them to wait, but my voice was getting blown away with the wind. I remember thinking that if they would only walk with me, I could protect them and enjoy their presence. I could chat with them, ask them questions and tell them how awesome they each are. Also, if they stayed with me, they wouldn't be anxiously waiting for me at the entrance. There would be absolutely no lag time, and they would arrive at the entrance and immediately walk in.

As I tried to push the stroller faster toward the Kids' Club where my boys were waiting, God gave me an image of me constantly moving ahead of Him. In that moment, I understood what God had been telling me for years. I realized that whenever I get a glimpse of where God is leading me, I take off running. I run from His protection and from His presence.

I did this exact thing with the Granola Bar Devotional Ministry. God directed me towards doing this ministry and, zip, I took off. I was so busy editing, marketing and writing that I didn't have much time to spend with Him. I was so consumed with trying to make this ministry successful, that I didn't enjoy the process of starting a ministry. It was a lot of work, and I made a lot of mistakes. I had to change a lot of things and do a lot of things over.

I look back and recognize that I wasted a lot of time and energy and endured needless heartache and frustration. If I would have clung to God during the entire process, I would not have made so many mistakes, I would have enjoyed myself more and I would have established this ministry in His perfect timing. Instead of making a straight shot, I made a bunch of zig-zags, u-turns and complete stops and start overs. I wasted my time running and then crying out to God to hurry up! I could have skipped all the chaos if I would have just abided (to stay) in Him.

Abiding is so important. Abiding is why we were created. Abiding is our joy. Abiding is our protection. Abiding is everything. Ministry is just a side note and nothing more. When we make a ministry more important than God, we have seriously failed. Our purpose is to love God and to allow Him to love us. Anything else in this life is simply a manifestation of His divine love.

So now when God shows me the "sidewalk," I don't run off; instead, I stay close to Him. Life is so short, and God has a specific design and plan for me. I don't want to miss it or mess it up. I wasted a lot of time not abiding in Him, and I do not want to make the same reckless mistake. If I would simply abide in Him, I would fulfill my God-given purpose and enjoy life in the process.

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it
abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me" (John 15.4 NASB).

Here is a photo of my boys staying close to me. Isn't abiding a beautiful thing?!

Boy Lessons - Part 2: Invincible in Love

Boy Lessons - Part 1: Get Out the Way

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Blogger Tabitha@ichoosebliss said...

I needed to read this as I am moving with God in my new ministry.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Crissy said...

So true and wonderfully written!

9:47 PM  
Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

Yes so well written and true, I have tagged you on my blog if you want to play the game

10:24 PM  
Blogger Cindy Bultema said...

What a beautiful post!! And thank you for the very timely reminder! I love your heart for the Lord ~ I wish we lived closer, I'd love to get to know you more over a warm cup of coffee! :)
Thanks for the encouragement today!! :)
Blessings to you and your ministry (both at home and your writing)!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Bernadine said...

I love the way you weave God's life lessons into your life moments. Should you ever publish a devotional book do let me know.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I LOVE this. It's wonderful and something I definitely need to hear. I think we sometimes think going the opposite way God is leading us is the only wrong way "to go."

3:28 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

This was a great illustration! Thanks for sharing. :)

6:34 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Simply beautiful. I love starting my morning reading your blog!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Sheri Carpetenter said...

Happy SITS sharefest. I love your blog. I wish I could set up something this pretty. I am following you and will check back often.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

What a beautiful post with a lesson for all of us.
Dropped by from SITS to say hi.

8:05 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

Hi! Just visiting from the SITS Saturday Sharefest!

I loved your post (and I love your blog!) I am a Christian as well and you have reminded me of how important it is to stay close to Him. I, too tend to run off ahead of God (or in any direction, really!) Thanks for the reminder! Have a blessed Saturday!

8:07 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Yes. I've done the same thing. Recently, in fact.

Sometimes, I try to make things happen. Like my blog for example.

What I need. Is to run to Him.

Not from Him. Or around Him.

Thanks for the reminder.

Happy SITS Saturday!

Sweet dreams.

12:45 PM  
Blogger OceanDreams said...

I loved this post, I think abiding in God allows us to feel such peace, because we go off and try to go in our own direction, it often leads to disharmony and confusion. I would rather trust in God any day than live a life full of doubt and lack of peace. I love your blog too, sorry it took me so long to travel back! :)

1:38 PM  
Blogger ‚ô•Karm said...

I enjoyed reading this post. thanks for stopping by my blog.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Melissa Miller said...

What an inspiring post Alisa!

Blessings to you my friend. ~Warmly, Melissa :)

4:48 PM  
Blogger Sassy Chica said...

What a beautiful post. Learning to let go and let God is not easy, but so rewarding once we do!

Sassy Chica

10:30 AM  
Blogger 9uy said...

Your page is awesome in both design and content.

Hope my blog will encourage you more to visit our beautiful Iceland. Stop by again soon,


6:17 PM  

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