August has run her course and is about to hand the baton to September. Today marks the day that Sarah's visa application enters the elite 2% of its class, outlasting 98% of other applications of its type. Despite our hunger to get onto British soil and among British people, we find ourselves delayed by our overachieving paperwork. As far as applications go, this one's got legs.
The ongoing wait leaves us feeling like we're in a sort of holding pattern. We cannot return to our old life; we cannot begin the new one. We are hungry to get to Cheltenham. We long to settle into a new home, learning the story and rhythms of a city that has existed for over 1200 years. We yearn for the people who we will get to know and love with the love of God, and from whom we will receive so much.
Yesterday, I had lunch with my dear friend Jon Brown, during which I shared this feeling of being uprooted and wanting to embed in our new community. Jon considered for a moment, and said, "I think this is from the Lord. I think Jesus just wants you to spend time with Him. He wants you to embed in Him, before you embed in Cheltenham."
And there it was. The simple, sacred truth of John 15:4. In one Spirit-lead moment, my backwards thinking was exposed. I was handed the opportunity to recalibrate.
We must be abiding in Christ to fruitfully embed in any other community.
Later that day, an article I read pressed the point home. I need quiet rest in Jesus' presence. I need to abide in Him.
This morning I began the deliberate refocus on abiding. May I invite you to do the same, whatever your circumstances. Read John 15:1-11. There is a diagnostic quality in the passage, but do not miss the promises. More importantly, do not miss the Promised One.