Lent, Peace, and The Vine

The secret to fruit-bearing and anxiety-free living is less about doing and more about abiding.

— Max Lucado —

My anxieties associated with the Coronavirus pandemic led me to crack open a book I had read a few months ago, “Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World,” by Max Lucado.

Some of you may remember that our family had a very chaotic 2019 and Lucado’s book was quite comforting for my soul during that time. In fact, 2019 now seems like “practice” compared to what we are currently facing.

The opening quote from Lucado really hit me yesterday morning and it reminded me of our dogs–Luckie and Jetta.

Part of my rehabilitation from my hip fracture I suffered last May was walking and whenever I would take a walk, I took our dogs with me. As you can see in the picture, the dogs are not little and they tend to get anxious and often try to make me go faster than I’d like.

I have had a dog or dogs throughout most of my life and I’m always curious about what makes them tick. Nothing piques my curiosity more than when I’m walking Luckie and Jetta and I drop the leash. You would think they would take off running, but they don’t. They stop and turn around with a “what are you doing” look on their face. They obviously can tell that there is no pull to the leash which means they’ve become disconnected to their master and they wait to become reconnected.

Luckie and Jetta’s obedience to me is a metaphor for what Lucado is talking about when he tells us to be more concerned about abiding in God than doing.

Our “doing” is a direct result of who and what we are abiding in.

When I’m doing Jay’s will my “wakeup” usually comes in the form of rotten fruit like anxiety, anger, paranoia, and control problems–all originating from fear…which is from the devil.

Two nights ago at about 2 am, I woke up wrestling with the helplessness associated with having little to no control over the Coronavirus pandemic. Then anxiety, anger, and paranoia set in. Fear had overtaken me.

Fear is my signal to me that I’m living in my will and that I’ve pulled my “leash” out of God’s hands.

So, at 2:30 am, after spending thirty minutes unsuccessfully trying to conquer the unknowns associated with this moment in the history of our existence, I prayed my way back into feeling a firm tug of my leash from God and didn’t awaken until my alarm went off at 6 am.

BTW…trying to conquer the unknowns is an oxymoron, isn’t it? The devil loves it when we try to conquer the unknowns. BUT, HOW MANY OF US GET SUCKED INTO TRYING TO DO IT????

Who is your leash connected to during this tumultuous time?

Your will or God’s?

John 15:5, “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. “


Journal your thoughts:

What am I grateful for today?

In what way(s) will I bring light to the world today?

What will I deny myself so I may draw closer to God and gain more peace in my life today?


God, I offer myself to Thee—To build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always! Amen. (Third Step Prayer – Chapter 5, pg.63, The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)



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