A Repost from My Journey of Faith Magazine 2016 by Mollie Moncrief Moore that can be applied to your life for this year.
Life Can Get Hard
2015 was bookend with bad news for our family. On January 3rd, just after the start of a fresh new year, my oldest son’s good friend died in a car accident. He was 18. In December we found out that my beloved Aunt has stage 4 cancer. She is 58.
I have found myself asking “why?” I have prayed for these loved ones and cried with them. I began to be fearful of my teenagers driving and of the health of those around me and of my health. I wondered how to go on with our lives and how can we have some sort of joy or peace.
Life Can Get Messy
This year I got to help with counseling a few hurting women at my home church. I love this. Pointing women to the Truth in God’s Word never gets old. I am no counselor mind you, but I do have a good ear and an incredible journey of faith myself.
One in particular touched the flesh of my heart. You see her story is so similar to mine. This year her husband walked out on her and her two precious daughters. I hurt for her. We have spoken back and forth for many months now, meeting for coffee or lunch, crying with her because I knew first hand her pain. Praying, begging, asking the Lord to remove this pain. Asking the Lord to restore their marriage. After a very hard, emotional year, their divorce was final in December.
Life Can Be Hopeful
You see… life is hard and messy. When we lose loved ones. When we get bad news. When we wonder where God is in the midst of our storms. We start to lose our hope.
How then can there be hope in the midst of pain, suffering, bad news? Our only hope is to remain in the One who created us.
John chapter 15 is one of my very favorites in all of scripture. God’s word, although written so long ago, was written for you and for me. It is, as it says in Hebrews 4: 12 “Alive and active..” It’s not just a good book. It is truth.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 5)
You might be asking what this verse has to do with my loss of hope…but you see in all of life’s messy, dark, hard moments… we must remain attached to the vine. The Lord is the vine friends, we are the branches. We can do nothing without Him. Nothing. We can bear no fruit. No peace. No patience. No kindness. No goodness. No self-control. No faithfulness. No gentleness (oh girl friend how i need to be more gentle sometimes). And here is the big one… NO JOY.
You and I are called to remain in the vine. John 15: 17 says “This is my command: Love each other’” and John 15: 11 reminds us that “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” My joy in 2015 only came when I remained in Him and followed His command to Love one another.
Friends, my hope for you in 2016 is that your joy may be complete- but let’s not forget how that is obtained. We have to remain in Christ Jesus. Everyday. No matter the hard and messy around us. We must cling to the vine and the TRUTH that is God’s word.
- “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” John 1: 14
- “Remain in me, and I will 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.” John 15: 4
- “Rejoice with those who rejoice; Mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12: 15
- “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul; firm and secure,” Hebrews 6: 19
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
Mollie Moncrief Moore