Remain

By Maureen Kasdorf

When we were building our house five years ago some neighbors launched an ugly campaign against us. I was anxious and frightened about angering them further, about making “enemies,” about how we could get out of town.

I made all sorts of plans to bolt. In my worry I doubted we had really heard God.

Then we were lead to read Exodus chapter 14. This is where Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt and Pharaoh and his army began to pursue them. The Israelites were scared.

13 “Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”’

Our word from the Lord was to stand firm, be still, remain. The word remain means abide, stay, wait, trust, tarry, rest, endure. Just watch and see. I will do something you would not have believed. So we did. We waited, scared but hopeful.

The answer came.

The answer continues to come.

I will do it. Wait, watch, remain, abide.

Jesus tells his disciples in John 15:5, “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.” Jesus just wants us to remain. He will do the work. Our job is to stay connected by staying in His word. That is the way to know him, to stay close, to abide. His work will be accomplished if we remain in him.

We will bring Glory to him as we wait. Do Nothing. Watch and see what the Lord will do. Remain, Abide, Stay, Wait.

As Americans these are some of the hardest words to put into practice. We prefer hurry, go, do, plan, execute. God does not tell us to “get ahead of the game” or “be proactive” or “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Waiting and abiding and remaining can feel frustrating.

Until we remember who we are remaining in. In whom we trust. We are called to stay with the God of the Universe! The God who raised Jesus from the dead! What place could be better? It is then for my good and His glory that I remain, abide, stay, wait.

Author and Bible teacher Lysa TerKeurst says, “The word abide, remain, means to trust Him with our place and pace.” If we truly trust God then we will wait for him to move. For Him to do the thing we keep thinking we’ve got to figure out how to do.

So we stayed put. We waited. We built the house. We live in it. We know that the exact location of our house was His design. Countless times we’ve seen a glimpse of His orchestrating many parts for the good of people and for His glory. In time nearly all of our neighbors have become our friends and many even followers of Christ.

If we had not remained, so much would have been lost.