Are you struggling my friend?

Welcome dear friend! Come on in for a time of reflection while we enjoy a cuppa & treat together.

Today I’m having coffee! I take mine at quarter strength, Café Latte style. How about you?

And we are enjoying a gf donut! Yes, they come in gluten free! Coffee & donuts always make a delicious treat…Don’t you agree!

As I mentioned in my post The Fruit of the Vine  recently, I have started a Book Club (reading group).

We had our first morning tea last week

I decided that a morning tea was more doable for me to host then lunch for eight in our first Book Club meet up.

It was such an enjoyable time together with an interesting mix of opinions & perceptions of the book we’re reading.

Some of our ladies have not been in a Book Club before which is rather exciting.

Lingering in the flavor, not just a quick taste

Some of our member’s found the book rather challenging, as it’s completely different to the genre they normally read.

While others found it thought provoking & there were those who found it rather interesting.

But what we all agreed upon was that we didn’t want to rush through this book.

 

As it has some delicious bites of wisdom upon its pages that we want to linger in the flavor, not just have a quick taste.

So instead of reading eight chapters per month we will be doing two.

This book is quite comprehensive in its theme, storyline & its multiple scriptural referencing throughout.

Although the author is from a western society she differs in many cultural aspects to us. Which is interesting in itself.

Some of the colloquialisms she uses need further research for us Aussies to be able to understand the context. 

Abiding

I thought I would share some tasty morsels from the next two chapters with you over a few posts, as I prepare to host our next Book Club. 

Sharing with you just how these tasty morsels have reminded me of hard learned lessons & truths that have flavored my own journey.

You may relate to them as well. We are in the chapter titled Abide Refer 2 . But first I think we need to look at the definition & meaning of abiding;

…not to depart,

 be held,

continually kept;

continue to be,

endure in the waiting.  Refer 2

Continue to Be

Those words to ‘continue to be’ really jumped out at me this morning. You see just before I began this journey of chronic health conditions, explained Here.

God kept bringing the following question & scripture to my attention, it seemed to pop up everywhere, even in advertisements of magazines!

‘Are you comfortable being?’

&

“Be still & know that I am God…”

Psalm 46: 10

Now that really was very thought provoking! However, at the time I didn’t realize just how profound living out the answer to those would become!

You see over my lifetime I have been a woman of action, never idle, always on the go…

Striving Lord?

In that year just before chronic health issues set in…

One morning a particular devotion really stood out in the following translation,

Cease striving & know that I am God, I will be exalted amongst the nations…”

Psalm 46: 10 Refer 2

Cease striving? Really heavenly Father? Aren’t we supposed to be doing your will to the best of our ability?  

But there’s a difference between striving & abiding

You see striving entails struggling to attain a goal in our own strength. Where abiding in Jesus entails being kept in God’s perfect will & purpose for our life.

As we don’t abide alone, we abide in Jesus, for Jesus says…

“Dwell in Me & I will dwell in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own without abiding in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.”

John 15:5

To be held & continually kept

Over the years, I have come to realize that indeed I have not at all found it comfortable Being! It has been a real struggle for me to just Be in this season of my life!

I have found it extremely challenging to be still. Because after all, I was that woman of action which is a legacy from many influences (but this is for a future post)!

Many years ago, I remember hearing a quote from a visiting lecturer at Bible College, whom I can’t recall their name now, stating;

“If you are too busy to be still with God, then you are far busier then God wants you to be!”

What I have learnt through the hard yards of living with chronic pain & illness is that being still & being held in the arms of Jesus, who after all is  the essence of God’s love.

Is to really abide in Him.

I have also realized, as I continue traveling on this long journey that gradually my striving has ceased. 

What about you dear friend, are you comfortable being still with God? Or are you striving?

Until next time, 

Jennifer

 

You’re most welcome to join me in The Reading Nook

 


© 2020 Jennifer M. Ross, teawithjennifer.blog, All Rights Reserved. Photos on Pexels.com

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26 thoughts on “Are you struggling my friend?

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  1. Jennifer, abiding in Jesus brings such a peace and contentment. Why do I strive, rather than abide. Being still is not easy, when the things of this world grab our attention and we think we must be on the run. Being is much harder than doing. Doing gives us man’s approval. Thank you as always for the nuggets of wisdom that you share.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your thoughts on striving vs. abiding. Abiding is what we should do. I do struggle more than usual lately due to the pandemic. Thank you for this good reminder to abide in God’s love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Laurie!
      This pandemic has really highlighted so many things in our lives… Good & not so good! I’ve found it has been a great opportunity to sift the wheat from the chaff in my life…It’s a process though 😉

      Like

  3. We are called created ‘beings’ and yet just ‘being’ is often the hardest thing we have to do. I often think about God’s call for Moses to come up on the mountain and “be there”. He didn’t tell him to do something, just to be there. And though the tablets with the 10 commandments etched on them were the end result, it was Moses who would just “be there” and God would take care of the “doing”. But as we learn to “be still”, to “be there”, we can always count on Him to “be there” with us in a way we can actually learn to know Him. Thank you for sharing your encouraging thoughts Jennifer.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently heard a rendition of the lovely hymn “Abide With Me” by a British singer Jonathan Veira. It is so moving and so encouraging to just abide. Are you doing a Beth Moore study for your book group or was that reference just to define abide?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, she definitely has some gems of wisdom in this book. It didn’t start out as a study with our Book group but it has evolved into that which I’m happy to host…it’s always great to gather around God’s Word through others life experience. 😀

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  5. How I like this – I would so much rather abide than strive! – and your quote that leads me to believe I may be far busier than I need to be – good food for thought Jennifer! I’ve been having coffee lately but am feeling the need for one of my teas. I think I need to dig into my tea cabinet!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennifer, great question here. God brings me back to the question, “Are you striving, or are you abiding?” I struggle with striving, and the different motivations that sometimes lead me to work hard and furious rather than to just remain in Jesus. Being still can definitely be the harder, humbler course of action. Thanks for giving me some good food for thought!

    Like

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