I don’t know where your thoughts and emotions have taken you over the past few weeks of separation from the world. My world has been filled with loneliness, mourning, joy, anger, laughter, uncertainty, and so many more ups and downs. It is difficult for me to trust the Father when I am stuck in an endless loop of thoughts and emotions. I find that the more that I connect with the world, the more my thoughts and emotions rule my life. In John 10, Jesus said:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
— John 10:27–28
He cannot know me until I listen to his voice. I cannot spend time listening to what the world thinks of me or my circumstances. To follow him, I am required to listen to my Father and trust that he is with me.
How do I even begin to listen when the world is so loud? I have found that beginning my day in the Word reminds me of who God is. This is the key. When I remember that God is with me, that he keeps his promises, and that he is sovereign over this world, then I am able to move forward in my day. Do my emotions and thoughts still get the best of me from time to time? Absolutely. But I am seeking him as often as possible.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
— Jeremiah 29:13
This is such good news for me because, in the past, I was unsure if it was even possible to know him, even just a little. All I wanted was just a little of his goodness and love. I thought that a little was better than nothing. He calls on me to go beyond giving just a bit of myself. He requires nothing less than all of my heart. When my heart, and yours, are completely seeking him, then we are abiding in him. Abiding in him is trusting him with it all: every thought, every hope, everything. John 15 tells us so beautifully what abiding in him will bring to us:
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
— John 15: 7–11