This is a word that has much meaning for me. Especially after last week, which I’m about to share.
First, the word and what it means.
: to accept or bear (someone or something bad, unpleasant, etc.)
: to stay or live somewhere
: to remain or continue
Interesting, isn’t it? The first definition can seem negative or heavy, where as the second and third seem neutral. I would say the second or third are really positive, as long as what or where you are abiding in is positive.
For me, this word is associated with one of my favorite scriptures found in John 15. Jesus is talking about how to live, how to stay connected to God. He uses a lot of nature themed illustrations. He and his friends are likely traipsing through a vineyard when he is prompted to share this truth. Hey guys, you know what these grape vines remind me of? God and me and you, it’s like this…
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
This is such a powerful visual for me. My dad is a farmer, but I did not inherit a drop of horticultural skill. I truly have a black thumb. I have outright murdered every living plant I’ve ever owned. If there was a most wanted poster for plant killers, you know, posted at local nurseries, my face would be on it. #truth
Back to the metaphor about living a life abiding in God. I can’t keep myself in check. I need to be connected to the source of love and life. I already know this, and most days I remember, but other days I totally forget and blow it completely. And I don’t think I’ll start a vineyard, so…
The word is now tattooed on my side.
It was also my Mother’s Day gift. Because both of my children now have tattoos, and they thought it would be awesome for their momma to have one too. And I’m too cheap to spend money like this.
For YEARS I have wanted a tattoo. I just did not know what or where, and then, the cost. When I finally realized what a constant this verse has been in my life, I knew it was the right thing. Once the placement was clear, the design began to take shape and here we are.