Chasing Butterflies

Guest Post / Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

I am so excited to introduce to you, my friend, Rebecca Adams. Rebecca leads a cohort of incredible writers on her website, Gracefully Truthful. Gracefully Truthful is an online Bible Study community, where you can register to receive daily journeys in your inbox. I have had the honor of writing for GT several times over the past 18 months, but today the tables are turned and I have the immense pleasure of welcoming Rebecca to my own little corner of the internet. I know you will enjoy her words, as she shares on the beauty of humility. 

Chasing Butterflies

Little else is as magical in childhood than racing around, carefree in a backyard to chase winged creatures. Watching the wonder on my little ones’ faces as they witnessed caterpillars make their radical transformation from squiggly, fat worm to fluttering beauty escaping their mesh tent to dance among trees and flowers is unforgettable. Eyes darting to catch every movement. Gasps of surprise and giggles of amazement follow outstretched hands attempting to touch the silky wings of wonder.

To me, this youthful fancy depicts a believer’s attempt to grapple with humility.

We witness genuine actions of humility and it leaves us breathless, caught up in wonder at its pure beauty. Do we dare reach out and touch it before it vanishes?
Such love! What mystery!
To lead with such humility!

Then we wonder…
Am I humble?
Would I have naturally responded with such strong, graceful meekness?
How do I grow that aspect of my character?
And, like little treasures in a summer backyard, we mimic the chase of the seemingly unattainable.

Humility, like courage, isn’t something we can manufacture in our humanity.
Humility is grown, tended, and nurtured by the Caretaker of our souls, the Vinedresser of our hearts.

Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser.” (John 15:1)

Two roles. Both critical. Both unique.
Jesus is the Vine.
The Father is the Vinedresser.

In the agricultural society when the Bible was written, the term “vinedresser” would have instantly brought forth imagery of a farmer.

Awake long before dawn, tough, calloused hands, element-weathered skin, eyes that constantly searched the sky, hands that knew the soil conditions with a touch of his finger, and a heart that knew every plant, its needs, and its potential like the back of his hand. A vinedresser wasn’t disconnected or the owner of a mass production plant, he was a man of the soil who knew his vines intimately.
This is the image Jesus gives us of the Father.  

Again, considering the cultural setting, the vine wasn’t simply a lovely gardening concept.
Without the vine, life itself would cease to exist.
No vine meant no produce, no grapes, no wine, no income, no livelihood.
No vine meant no life.
And so it is with Jesus.
Without Christ, we have no life.
First, for the eternal.
Second, for the transformative life of sanctification.

Neither of which are possible without the Vinedresser as He tends each heart, cutting back overgrowth, nurturing tender shoots, and cultivating humble hearts.

The core of every humble heart is the realization of who Jesus is and who we are not.
The growth of humility both begins and continues in the embrace of this incredible, endless truth.

Who is this Jesus?
Who is this Father?
Who is this glorious Spirit binding them together, weaving between, and making us every mindful of them?

Here, seated at the feet of the triune God, humble hearts flourish where we are only, always captivated by the beauty of Father, Son, and Spirit.

In this same thread, Jesus speaks truth over us, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)

The elusive character traits we see in others who have long followed our Savior, the ones we wish we could catch, aren’t captured and owned through a 3-step program or by reading a book, but by continually choosing to sit and dwell, constantly abiding, with the Savior of the World who has come to make Himself known.

Do you wish a humble heart?
Gentle responses that put other first?
Hands and hearts that lead with strong grace blended beautifully with truth?
Sit with the Savior.

Know His heart.
Hear His rhythms.
Search His Word, not as much for what it says to you, but for what it says about Him.
To abide in the Vine and be pruned by the Vinedresser is to flourish in humility.
Grown by the Father.
Not manufactured by our ability.

Marvel at the butterflies’ dance, and sit with their Maker.

I have been married for an amazing fifteen years to the man of my dreams, Chris.
It hasn’t always been “amazing” and he hasn’t always been “dreamy”, but Jesus keeps on faithfully making us new.

Together we have eight beautiful children, one that runs with Jesus and seven that run around our house, keeping us humble and insane.

I love the gospel and I love seeing Jesus transform lives because He keeps transforming me.  With incredible, boundless love delivered by the profound mystery of the Almighty’s grace and truth through the unpacking of His Word, He sanctifies us every day.

To be more like Jesus, to know the power of His resurrection in everyday life, and to simply sit with Him, these are the longings of my heart.

The Lord has also given me very good gifts, which I absolutely enjoy like running (especially in the rain), good coffee (especially brewed by my man), reading good books (especially theology ones), laughing with my kids (they are the best humans), and dating my husband (because I adore that man!).

Are you ready to dive deeper?

All this month, I am offering my free, 7-day Faithful Hearts Study on humility. It’s all a part of our year-long conversation about cultivating a faithful heart amid a frenzied world. You can check out a sample of the study by clicking here or request your own copy by filling out the form below!

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