"As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.
1 John 2:24
Abide is an old-fashioned word. I’d never used it in everyday conversation and didn't understand its meaning until I had the opportunity to pet-sit for a friend.
“I’m going to change your name to Shadow,” I said with exasperation as Cinderella, the miniature Boston terrier, trotted behind me. While I washed dishes she sat on the kitchen rug. As I ate lunch, she jumped onto a chair. When I sat on the couch, she scooted as near to me as possible. Pressed close against my leg, she looked up at me with her puppy-dog eyes and rested her head on my thigh.
Maybe this was standard behavior for a small, indoor dog, or was Cinderella just missing her master? It was a good thing she was cute. Otherwise, I might not have put up with her constant craving for togetherness.
But her dependence continued after that first day. When I walked to the mailbox, she happily followed at my heels. If I went into the bathroom, she patiently waited outside the door. At night, she crawled onto the bed and curled up at my feet. She never whined when I walked away or when I pushed her aside to make some space between us.
The day before her owner returned, I was reading. Cinderella jumped into my lap and then climbed onto the arm of the chair. Pretending to ignore her, I watched as she gingerly put her front paws on my shoulder and leaned her head close to my neck. She rested her face against my cheek, sighed contentedly, and closed her eyes.
All she wanted was to abide with me.
I didn’t understand her devotion, but the word abide became crystal clear.
Lord, like a dog yearns to be close to her master (or temporary master), help me to abide in You.