When you pick a word of the year that’s immediately put to the test, you know it must be good.
My word for 2022 is abide. The Greek word for abide, meno, means to remain or to stay and it denotes a sense of permanency. It comes from John 15:5: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
This chapter reinforces that it is the Vine that gives the branches life, support and strength in all conditions and circumstances – not the other way around. It is the Vine that sustains the branches and equips them to thrive – not the other way around.
This is the year I want to stop trying to be the vine.
This is the year I want to fully learn what it means to not rely on my own strength, skills, stability or success… to realize that I don’t have to always be in control, always be certain, always be “doing” something. Sometimes I can just sit back in surrender and stillness.
But practically, what does that look like for me, especially in a year that’s sure to be full of both new adventures and new fears? I’m sure it will change over time and I’m excited to explore it more fully. But for now, abiding is…
- a reliance on God’s strength and not my own
- contentment over comparison
- peace in moments of chaos
- stillness in moments of stress
- the antidote to my striving
- slowing down to focus on what’s in front of me
- confidence in who I am because of who he is
- complete joy (John 15:11)
The beautiful thing is, it’s an exchange. As we seek to abide in Christ, he also abides in us. Therein lies our strength, peace and joy.
So, as I’ve been faced with stressful situations, sickness and uncertainty, even just in these first nine days of January, I’ve done my best to put this into practice. To slow, breathe and just be. To abide. It’s not natural to me but it’s necessary for me. I am not the vine.