I love a good Christian film. Some weekends I will snuggle up in my bed with my family and we will watch a good movie. One day we came across a movie called “The Encounter.” It is based upon five strangers meeting at a road block. Jesus leads them into a silver bullet diner where he is the cook and waiter. Each of these people has a story when they walk through that diner door. They bring in their baggage, their anger, their fear and their knowledge of the bible. Jesus confronts them with all of their pasts. He confronts the truth. He makes them look inward at their true faith. He unwraps the good, the bad and the ugly.
In order for God to be my vine, I have to give it all to Him. I have to uncover the truth of my life, my selfishness, and my faith. If I don’t do this, then aren’t I being the vine?
John 15:4 (NLV Version) Get your life from Me and I will live in you. No branch can give fruit by itself. It has to get life from the vine. You are able to give fruit only when you have life from Me.
Interestingly enough, I have been struggling with trusting God lately. I am fearful, worried, and fretting about my future. The coronavirus is slowly infecting my faith life. My trust is slipping away, and I am allowing this viral infection to take it down. I realized today that I need to let God do His work. He is molding and working on all of us right now. This virus can speak volumes about how we handle situations when things get tough. Do we count on God for help and guidance? Do we try to eradicate it all on our own? Or maybe do we try to ignore it and hope it just all goes away?
If we were to be judged at heaven’s gates by how we handled this enormous struggle right now, what would that judgment look like? Would God be patting you on the back for a job well done? Would he be beaming with pride for how calm you stayed while He did his work? Would he point out all the people you inspired with your encouraging words?
There is so much good to be done during this enormous struggle. We should be spreading love and trust instead of instilling fear and anger. I have been talking to all my family, and I realized that my words have not been encouraging. In fact, my words have not shown my faith or my trust in God. I came to the conclusion that my trust had been lost, and it was all because God was no longer my vine. My vine was the media, the government, the newspaper, and most of all….my fear. I haven’t been inspiring anyone with my words. I have been instilling fear. I have been taking people down my road of distrust that is filled with burdens and heavy loads.
I fear the unknown. I fear death. I fear sickness. I fear for my children’s health. I fear for my husband. I fear that my kids won’t get home from college. I fear that Katie will have horrible seizures if she gets sick. I fear so much…so much that I have lost my trust in God.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
I have been far from submitting to him. In fact, I have been pretty much submitting to fear. I certainly have been leaning on my own wisdom – which really hasn’t done me much good. Honestly, it has created even more fear in my heart. Returning to God and trusting in Him is not going to be easy. It is going to take tremendous time in prayer, reflecting on scripture, and a whole lot of conversation with God. Life is difficult when I let fear take over. It stops having purpose. It becomes a burden. With God though, life becomes filled with joy even in the midst of struggle. I need that. We all need that. God is the ticket out of this scary coronavirus. Just remember John said it perfectly in his scripture….
John 3:30 He must become greater. I must be come less.
As I begin to head backstage and allow God to work within me once again, I know just like those customers in the diner that I can unload my burdens at Jesus’ feet. You can too. Don’t wait. Find time for Him. Share your fears. Share your anger. Trust in Him. He will straighten that path for all of us. We can beat this together, but God must be the vine that saves us all from this heavy burden we are all facing.