Remain in me, as I also 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.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday. We haven’t really talked in far too long. In catching me up on her life she shared some hard things that are going on in her family. At one point she mentioned that her husband had told her that another family member should “pull herself up by her bootstraps.” Uh-oh! While I get hubby’s perspective, the only answer to the disaster which is currently encompassing their loved one, is Jesus. My friend knows that and is trying to help her dear one to see it as well.
In our conversation I quoted the above verse to her. Bootstraps aren’t going to get us anywhere. Oddly during the conversation my friend had to refasten the strap on her boot a few times. Why? Well, obviously because it popped open but mostly because God is good all the time. There is no bootstrap, elbow grease or steely eyed determination that defeats an attack by our enemy. One source of victory is available to us, one, and that is Jesus Christ.
Clinging to that vine is what makes my life livable, at times quite enjoyable and most important, fruitful. Yesterday in that conversation, I hope that my sweet friend was blessed. I know she blessed me. She put her trust in my faith which inspires me to be even more faithful. She gave me the opportunity to pray for her in the moment and to carry her burden with her as we are instructed in Galatians 6:2.
If you are a person who believes that you need to make huge efforts, pull up bootstraps, prove your worth or whatever other cliché comes to mind, please stop. Please read the verse above again, especially the last line. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” Nothing. No thing. We live and move and have being in Christ alone. (Acts 17:28)
Put on your boots, big girl panties or whatever else helps you feel confident but never forget that your true confidence comes from being a child of God. (1 John 3:1)