I recently wrote an informative piece about the benefits of delayed cord clamping, and I was fascinated by how the umbilical cord works: it contains one vein, which carries oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from placenta to baby, and two arteries that carry carbon dioxide and waste from the baby to placenta for purification.
I can’t help but draw the analogy to abiding in, and being connected to Christ, the life-giver, and purifier.
God promises us the gift of eternal life, through Christ. God, the giver of all life, graciously reaches down to creation, and through the gift of His begotten Son, offers us rebirth into the family of God.
Connected to God, through Christ, we receive the grace, strength, hope, peace, patience, and all that we need in order to live a life that honors God – one of loving God, and loving people. Through Christ, God purifies the waste, dirt, ugliness – sin – in our lives, as He continues his work in us, so that we might be holy and blameless before Him.
In John 15:4-5, Jesus calls us to remain in him: “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5.
The key instruction here is to remain in Christ. As baby remains/abides in the placenta through the cord, s/he receives all the nutrients, food, and oxygen required to live, and thrive; connected to God, the source of life, we receive every good thing we need to live, and God gives us new life, eternal life, through Jesus Christ.
How do I Abide in Christ?
When chatting about this idea of abiding in Christ with some other mothers, some of the questions that we wrestled with were, “How much time will that take out of my day?” “Where will I even find the time to abide?” “Why bother when I know one of my little ones will likely divert my attention within minutes of starting?”
Just the thought of “abiding” can sound overwhelming… but is it really as impossible as it sounds?
I’ve come to really treasure the earliest moments of my day, as much as 30, or even, 5 minutes before my children awake. And I do believe that blessings come with discipline, and my goal is for this time to grow consistent, but (particularly after a night of little sleep) this sometimes looks different from day-to-day, and sometimes doesn’t happen at the start of it. Wonderfully, God has gifted us with His Spirit, so that we can remain connected to Him throughout our day. These are a few practical ways of what abiding in Christ might look like for me amidst a typical day:
Dedicating my Day to God — Upon rising from my bed (if I haven’t had the sleep to awake earlier and spend solitary time with God), I commit my day to Him, and pray with my girls.
Song — As I wash dishes, and go about housework, I usually turn on “worship music” with meaningful words, that acknowledge God, and focus on God’s character. I enjoy singing along with, and meditating on His greatness, holiness, and love.
Prayer for Others — As I drive to my meetings with clients, I pray for them, and ask God to bless them with a healthy pregnancy and birth. I pray for peace for them throughout their experiences, and ask God to use me to be a blessing in their lives.
Seeking God through the Rough — In the tired, patience-testing moments of my day, I try to remember to submit these moments to God, and to seek Him for strength, and grace to love my family truly, gently, selflessly; when I turn to God in these moments, I consistently feel His peace, and experience His strength to move through challenges.
Community — In addition to the incredible communion of sharing life with a husband who passionately loves God, I am blessed to have a few close friends I can pray with/for, and sincerely share life with. God’s gift of community is a gift of God’s presence, and soul-refreshing to partake in.
So often I hear people say things like, “My day goes so much better when I start it by spending time with God,” and I think there’s a reason for this; I believe we were designed to be connected to the Giver of Life. As followers of Jesus, we are invited to “abide in Christ.” This isn’t meant to be a burden, or something unattainable, but a gift. As Christians, we are connected to God; we have full access to God through God’s Spirit, and wherever, whenever, we are invited to seek God, who purifies, and refines us into the people God has called us to be – Christlike, followers who love God with our hearts, and minds, and souls, and people who bear the fruit of the Spirit, and who love one another.