The last two days I’ve found difficult. Not that I didn’t know Jesus within. But things outside of me have been seeking to steal the Peace that he is. These aren’t things that seem to be going away any time soon.
But that’s OK. This isn’t about everything being OK, and having the peace that the world gives. It’s about knowing the Peace that passes understanding who guards my heart and mind as I live in him. It’s about Jesus proving himself so that he can help others to experience the same remaining life.
I remember how Jesus said this. “Father I thank you that you hear me. I knew that you always hear me.” That was it for Jesus. That has to be it for us. That our Father, a good Father, a Father who so loves us he gives his Son (not gave, still gives). A Father who always hears us, no matter what. Because he hears the Spirit of his Son in us crying “Abba, Father.”
And so this morning, I said this.
“Father, I thank you that your Son is the True Vine. That all Life flows from him. Father help me to be a branch of the True Vine today.”
You know, he can’t help responding to that. It’s a prayer that gives everything up. It’s one that relies solely on Jesus himself. One that recognises that apart from him we are not able to be doing anything. And that’s important to note before we go on. This isn’t about me. This is about Jesus himself.
And guess what? He said, “OK.”
I went to my meeting point to meet Jack today. I didn’t feel particularly spiritual. But that isn’t important is it. What’s important is that we’re willing to trust him wholeheartedly, and not lean on our own understanding. Jack didn’t show. But while I was there, Father reminded me of this.
“And the light in the darkness is appearing, and the darkness it has not grasped. (Literal Greek.)”
I shared this with someone else. This came back. “Untainted Light. Pure. Unaffected by the darkness because light does not fellowship with or take hold of the darkness but simply banishes it.”
In reply, “Yes, the True Light… Only the True Light is unaffected by the darkness, repels and replaces it with himself. The darkness cannot overcome it, cover it, envelope it, swallow it up, or replace it.”
And in reply to that… “That’s helpful today. Don’t wrestle or engage with darkness or hide away – just let in a little more light – vulnerable to his goodness and the Father of lights who changes not.”
Finally… “Engage with Light, not darkness. That will work!” So that was a good start to being a branch.
I was due in Aldershot today. So while I’m sat there thinking about going, I have the nudge. “Don’t walk, get the bus.” So I get the bus ticket on the app on my phone. While I’m walking to the bus stop, I have another nudge. “Get the bus to Frimley.” So I get on the bus to Frimley, not Aldershot. I was fully expecting to meet someone on the bus, the reason for the nudge. Nothing happened. I got off at Frimley High Street. I was walking across the road to go to the bus stop and wait to turn around and go straight back to Aldershot.
Another nudge, “Go to the hospital.”
So I walk to the hospital. As I’m walking between the car parks, someone comes to mind with these words; “I just felt to bless you with Peace at all times in every way.” They are words I had sent to others today, but not in the same way. This was another nudge. I sent a text right away.
I sat down on the seats just inside the main entrance in the hospital, not knowing what I’m doing there, and hoping I don’t have to explain to anyone why I was there. I was sat there a minute, directly opposite the main doors of the outpatient department. Guess who walks out? The person I had just messaged a couple of minutes earlier. They were busy taking patients elsewhere, so I didn’t try to interrupt and talk. I just waved, probably a bit like Forrest Gump waves. Clumsily.
This person doesn’t have a church background. They are spiritual, I’m convinced of that. But they don’t know Jesus himself. But this is now the 4th time something has happened like this with the person. The previous 3 have led to suggestions that I’m psychic. Which I have denied each time!
Then I sent another message, explaining the whole thing of what had just happened, from bus stop to main entrance at the hospital. And hoping (again) that I’m not seen as a weirdo (it happens sometimes….) The message ended by saying “I don’t know what is going on today that you need to know Peace at all times in every way, but someone wants you to know that so much, enough to send me out my way to tell you. I know I didn’t get to tell you in person, but that is what he wants you to know.”
They thought I was there for an appointment!
Then I relayed this story to someone I had first crossed paths with in Frimley Park hospital in December. Jesus wants to meet this person, I know it. I said I was sat in Frimley Park hospital main entrance. They asked me why I was there. The door opened. We have been talking about Jesus since.
I met two people in Aldershot, and shared what Jesus did today. Life shared further because of what he did. There was a buzz as we shared him.
So, what do we get from this?
Well, first, we can know that Father hears us when we pray such exciting and powerful (and so beautifully simple) prayers such as, “Father, I thank you that your Son is the True Vine. That all Life flows from him. Father help me to be a branch of the True Vine today.” When the Spirit of his Son in us talks to the Father, he listens and hears us! That’s so good.
Secondly, we are reminded again that it is essential that we are simply branches of the True Vine. Nothing more, nothing less. He wants us to remain always. And he wants, and needs, us to be conscious of remaining. We’re reminded that we must listen, hear, and do whatever he tells us. No matter how little sense it makes to us at the time. To be so one with him that the nudges are not rare occasions, but that all we do is simply a reflection of what the Father is doing. A flow of Life through us as branches from the Vine himself.
And thirdly, that Life multiplies. What Jesus does cannot be contained. His Life multiplies. He takes it further than we imagine and opens up other opportunities to share himself with those he wants to. Like him writing this and sharing with you. The branch is simply a branch, Life flows, and he does the rest.
For those for whom the darkness bit rang true, please download this free song and see if it speaks to your spirit. It was a spontaneous one from some time back. Feel free to share with others if you want to as well. Just click the link! 🙂
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Let him be, in you, today.