Evangel University tulips

Campus Blog

Abide in the Lord

March 30th, 2012 | Shonna Crawford

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. John 15:4-5

I’ve been thinking about what it means to abide in the Lord lately.  There have been reminders all around me over the last several weeks.

Spring is such a beautiful time to be on Evangel’s campus.  There are gorgeous tulips everywhere and they are a great reminder of what it means to abide.  If tulip bulbs were able to jump out of their tulip beds, they would never have grown into these lovely flowers. They had to abide through rain and cold weather (although we haven’t had much cold weather lately) before they began to bloom.  This is the kind of abiding God asks us to do.  Sometimes He asks us to persevere through trials. The tulips had to remain in dirty, dark soil.  Sometimes He asks us to stay in a place we think is unpleasing for longer than we anticipated.  The tulips are not asked which tulips they would like to be buried beside or bloom beside.  Sometimes God asks us to be surrounded by people that we don’t prefer.  Throughout all of these trials, if we abide in God, He abides in us.  He doesn’t leave us or forsake us and He gives us the strength we need to endure difficulties; He gives us the hope we need to see beyond our immediate surroundings; He gives us the grace we need to deal with difficult people.  Even after the tulips blooms, they are still in  the same place, surrounded by the same dirt and the same flowers, but they have become beautiful for everyone who sees them to enjoy.  God does the same in our lives.  As we grow, He may not move us or change the circumstances or people around us, but he makes our lives beautiful to those around us when we abide in him.

Just last week my Communication Arts I class partnered with a local school to host a Family Literacy Night event in the evening at the elementary school.  We invited parents and students to come enjoy an evening of literacy activities planned just for them.  It was a blessing to see my Evangel students reaching out to support parents and students in a meaningful way.  The evening was a huge success! Administrators, teachers, parents, and students were thrilled with the event in every way.  The following day I shared with my class that this was a good example of how God helps us to bear much fruit when we abide in him.  During each class for several weeks leading up to the event we prayed specifically for the various elements that we had planned for the literacy night.  We ABIDED in the Lord and trusted that He would help us … and HE DID!  Apart from God we can do nothing!  But, with God we can do all that he calls us to do!  I am so thankful that God is true to his word … without fail … every time we ASK!  So, what are you doing to abide in the Lord?  Think about it, it has everything to do with how much fruit you will bear.

Shonna Crawford

Assistant Professor of Education (Literacy)

Shonna Crawford has always loved school. Between graduating from Evangel in 2000 and returning as an assistant professor of education in 2011, Crawford spent time teaching elementary school, received her Master in Reading degree and worked for the Missouri Reading Initiative.

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