Patricia Hofer

The Lord isn’t leaving us to struggle alone.

God didn’t create us to be self-existent units, wandering alone on our own self-determined journey. God created us to be with Him and husbanded by Him. And Christ’s metaphor of the “true vine” helps to describe the spiritual, eternal connection we all have. Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” A branch can’t exist separate from the vine. Its purpose is, quite simply, to allow the Lord’s fruit-filled life to flow through it.

The only role we can play, then, is to be a branch, to be an avenue for the fruits of His grace. But such passive participation, such utter surrender, isn’t really our plan—just as it wasn’t Adam and Eve’s. It certainly isn’t anything I’d have considered before my conversion experience.

The surprise for me since those inspired moments, however, is that yielding and self-surrender continue to open me to the richest possible kind of experience—the kind where Christ’s “larger, stronger, quieter life” flows into my heart (Mere Christianity 154). Instead of diminishing individuality, as we all so naturally fear, our openhearted surrender to Christ enlarges and strengthens who we are, filling our lives with a satisfying wholeness and a fulfilling peace.

This yielding is the life-changing perspective that I’ve been called to share in my Christian writing. My experience offers proof that the living Saviour is continually desiring and seeking a rich and inspiring connection with every human soul. Just before his crucifixion, Jesus prays, “Father, I want those you gave me to be with me where I am” (CEB John 17:24). The Lord wants you and me, each and all of us, to be with him. The calm and comfort of that reality is my witness to you.

Please, Lord, Take this, my plea, as your token, Refine it, make it be true. A vow that cannot be broken, A life lived always with you. (Living Calm 2016)

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