As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. -John 15:9 

I once had a tree in my front yard and friends loved to receive oranges that grew on that tree. A homeless man also enjoyed “gleaning” oranges from that tree. And we loved them, too. The oranges were incredible, juicy, and sweet.

And let me tell you something about that orange tree – it never pulled its roots out like a tree from “Lord of the Rings” and walked away, and then, when it got thirsty, came back and put its roots back down. In fact, if you tried to dig up that tree just for one second and put it back, it would most likely have died.

But that’s how we treat our relationship with Christ. We think, I’ll come back when I get thirsty. I’ll come back when things don’t go well. I’ll come back when I can’t pay the bills. I’ll come back when I have a divorce or a bad breakup. I’ll come back when I am fired. We tend to live on this roller coaster where we abide with the Lord when things don’t go well, but when things are going great, we just pick up our roots and walk away.

Don’t feel bad; we all do it. I do it, too. But that is not the rhythm of a fruit-bearing life.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I will never give up and walk away. I will plant my roots deep in your soil and grow to become the person you designed me to be. Amen.

REFLECTION: If you have ever walked away from God, what happened? How did you find your way back?

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