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Trials in life are the funniest things. We often fear they will break us, but when God is in our corner, suffering merely results in a growth spurt, albeit a painful one. I have been through many such growth spurts. Maybe you have, too? Some of them have been moderately challenging, while others have threatened to completely consume me.
One day, as God has predetermined, we all mark the end of our existence here. As a Christian woman, a Christian wife, mother, and even grandmother, what do we hope to leave behind when we’re gone? What will that time we were given say about our faith? What will the impact of our life be on our community, church, and especially, our family?
Today we are facing enormous challenges. Our health is threatened by the coronavirus. Our financial stability may be in question due to changes in our work environments, or perhaps the struggle is the inability to work at all. For some of us in the Valley, our very homes were endangered by wildfires, and sadly for some, their homes were destroyed. The situations of life could get worse, but many of us right now might ask, “How?”
Today in our Abiding study we’re reading a Gospel account of two ordinary people whose relationships with God in prayer were profound. One man, Simeon, and one woman, Anna, would experience the greatest of blessings as they saw the Christ Child (Luke 2:22-38). As their story begins, we see that Joseph and Mary had taken Baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for traditional rites. Upon entering the temple, Jesus was recognized as the Messiah by not one person, but two.
In John 15, which we read this week in anticipation of our Abiding series, Jesus is sitting with His disciples during the Last Supper, encouraging them and preparing them for what they are going to face in the near future. He talks about Himself being a vine, one much like my garden pumpkins, and says His friends are like branches off that vine…
Editor’s Note: Beginning this Thursday, UFC Women will begin Abiding, a short study of several Old and New Testament women who had encounters with God through prayer and with Jesus in personal interactions. We encourage you to sit long with John 15:1-11 in preparation for our time together in-person and on Zoom this Thursday at our regular group times. If you weren’t part of the October study but want join us for the first three Thursdays of November, please register here. Andi Hines will provide the voice behind most of the Abiding blog posts and Scripture recordings, while Jamie Harms will be teaching each Thursday. We’re excited to see how God continues to root us in His Word together!