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. Jn 15:5 (NIV)
Preparing to spend time working abroad. I received a letter from a missionary friend of mine. It made me stop to think. `Remember', the letter went, `that the Lord is putting you into this situation, not primarily for what you can do, but because of his plans for you. His first concern is the growth of your relationship with him'.
Here was a rather different perspective from my own thoughts along the lines of how much I could contribute, with my training, in the Lord's name, and how I would be able to demonstrate his love practically. But his plans for me concerned teaching me to depend on him, the truth attested to in the verse above, and seen in its practical reality in the biographies of many pioneers in missionary work.
Somehow things can seem so different in mundane hospital life: I have found it temptingly easy to rely heavily on my own resources. Does a basic trust in and dependence on the Lord underlie all my daily dealings at work with other people? Is my relationship with him growing? The lives of men and women who have pioneering the Lord's work overseas, and who found themselves again and again in total dependence on him, are beautiful examples of the truth of what he promised in this teaching of his. May our situations not blind us to this truth.
Lord Jesus, teach me to have in my life the perspective your word speaks of. Help me to make sure my life is firmly based on you, so that you pervade all I do and say today.
Further reading: Ps 1:1-3. Col 2:6-7