“We are pursuing a sustaining grace, a power, a presence, life-force — the daily experience of more of God in more of us. We are doing this largely through the healing and restoration of our own souls, the beautiful, besieged vessels he longs to fill.”- John Eldredge
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me.”- John 17:22-23 (NIV)
In Chapter 13 (“The Hidden Life of God in You”) of Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge references The Hidden Life of Trees, written by German forester Peter Wohlleben. While walking in the forest one day, Peter stumbled across an ancient tree stump. When he looked closer, he discovered that the stump still produced chlorophyll. Utterly impossible unless the surrounding trees kept the stump alive by sending their own life.
Most significantly, John states, this illustrates the interconnectedness God created each of us to have with Him. In John 15, Jesus used the imagery of a vine and its branches to describe the nature of the union He offers us. However, Mr. Eldredge believes, our familiarity with Jesus’ imagery dims His miraculous offer. That, if you choose, through the power of the Holy Spirit, your life can become one shared existence with the Son of God.
But, the author contends, over time Jesus’ offer of union with Him grew veiled. Because the language we us to explain the Christian faith tends to define, and sometimes limit, expectations. For example, we talk abut having faith in Christ. Yet, Mr. Eldredge asserts, faith sometimes exists without much personal experience. Furthermore, it’s possible to profess your Christian faith and not actually know God yourself.
Certainly, we also want a relationship with God. But union, oneness with God, is something else altogether. Like trees in a forest, your being is porous – like wood. Not solid like marble. Hence, John underscores, “your every being is made to be saturated with the being of God.”
Today’s question: What helps you most in pursuing a sustaining grace? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Deeper union – intertwined with God”