Crabtree Acres

Trusting God
by Carolyn Bost Crabtree

Our ladies Sunday School class is having lessons on Abiding in Christ right now.  One of the questions that came up was “What is the difference between Abiding with Christ vs. Abiding in Christ?”

One of the best ways to explain that difference is the relationships we have in a family.  Many families “abide with one another” in the same house, but do not “abide in one another”.  Abiding in one another is to have a closeness of spirit with one another that would never separate or tear apart each other.  The family would be so important that nothing could come into the circle and split it apart.  Teenagers come and go in their families, but many have no important relationships with their parents that bond them together for the rest of their lives.

Bonding together as a family is created by trust in one another.  The same thing is true of our relationship to Christ.  If we bond together with Christ in such a way as to never draw away from Him, even in the hardest times, we must trust Him completely. 

Many of us, even young people, have a hard time trusting others completely.  Maybe we have been hurt by uncaring or even abusive parents and trust in adults of all types has been affected by this.  I am convinced that the way we view our parents or authorities in our lives as children, is the way we view our Lord.  If parents are loving and kind, caring and tender toward us as children, we will trust God more easily because we will believe He is tender and loving, caring and kind.  If parents are distant and unconcerned about us as children, then God will be distant and unconcerned in our minds and we see no need to have Him in our lives.  If parents are abusive or have left us altogether, then we view God as a far away being who is waiting to pounce on us and punish us for even the slightest thing we do wrong.  Or we may view Him as one who will break His promise to never leave us or forsake us.

We become Christians for various reasons, most of us to avoid hell and go to heaven.  But Christ asks us to “Come to Him” to have close fellowship with Him and to abide in Him.  (John 15).  This is a risk for some of us who have trouble trusting others.  We are afraid we may get hurt in some way, so we don’t even try to have a close relationship with Christ.  The strength to truly live the Christian life comes from a close relationship with Christ and no other place.  The ability to express the fruit of the Spirit in our lives mentioned in Galatians 5 can only come from a close relationship with Christ and no other place.