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  • Kimberly McElroy

FULFILLMENT | Feb 19-25, 2024

Updated: Feb 23



To catch up with our Lent journey, check out this post that explains our practice.


It is hard to wait. It can feel unnatural, unnerving, uncomfortable. We want our hopes, dreams and longings to be realized now. We want the things in our lives that are painful, wrong and messy to get better or be fixed immediately. Perhaps you could say we’ve been conditioned to believe that waiting is unproductive, a waste of time, something that doesn’t serve a purpose.


But what if waiting was the norm? What if we flipped the entangled idea that waiting is a bad thing and rather welcomed waiting as good – a purposeful and fulfilling part of our lives?


As I’ve grappled with this switch in thinking about waiting lately, I’ve been drawn to John 15 where Jesus asks us to remain in him as he remains in us. “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you.” (The MSG) Before I long for him, Jesus longs for me. Before I love him, Jesus loves me. Before I wait for him, Jesus waits for me. Before I remain in him, he remains in me.


Remaining in Jesus, as He remains in us is an image of union – the branch is united with the vine, and that allows the vine to provide life to the branch, bringing nourishment, strength, and resilience. The result for the branch is blossoming, fruitfulness, abundant life – the Fruit of the Spirit.


Ultimately though, remaining in Jesus results in Jesus being our fulfillment. It’s hard for my mind and heart to grasp, but there is no limit to the remaining, the union, the fulfillment to be found in Jesus. He himself is enough.


My prayer these days has become: “Jesus, heal our union. Jesus, remain in me and show me how to remain in you, so that you can bear your fruit in me.”


 

READ

John 15:4-5


REFLECT

How is the wanting of immediacy expressed in my life?

What entanglements are showing up in my life as a result of chasing after this want?

If my wanting of immediacy is actually a shared longing with God for fulfillment, what might pursuit of fulfillment over immediacy look like?


RESPOND

Start with a confession. Invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender that arise in you.

I confess that I have wanted ____ more than ____.

I confess the ways that I have become entangled by this want and renounce the lie that ____.

Now, choose repentance by turning toward God.

I confess that you are God and I am not and that your longing for ____ is actually my deeper longing.


FAST

As a way of living into your repentance, consider fasting from ­the fast way this week.

Take the slow way. Choose the long line. Have an unhurried meal. Embrace opportunities to wait.


RECEIVE

Read Psalm 23. Right in the middle of our entanglements (our enemies), Jesus meets us with love and provision.

Holy Spirit, what do you want to give me from the table you have prepared for me?


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