featured image

Lindsey Mitzel contemplates God's desire to live in us and His call to us to abide in Him.

Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we want, and sometimes that may be incredibly difficult. Important things may be lost, people may be lost, time may be lost. We may be asked to give up things we had no idea we were attached to. As painful as these losses may be for us though, we are on a journey of learning to abide more and more in Christ.

My husband and I just finished building a new home. There are so many details to building a house, and while we weren’t naïve enough to think it would go smoothly the whole time, we were dolefully unprepared for how challenging the whole process would become. Prices went up, things got broken, lots of mistakes were made, people didn’t show up. Our family was displaced for more than a year past the date the builder originally told us we could expect to move in.

The Lord taught me things over the past year that humbled me, broke me open, and showed me where some of my attachments lie that just aren’t in Him. These last few sentences can’t do justice to the pain and difficulty we experienced together as a family in this season, but I would do it all over again. It’s often in the most challenging and painful seasons that God is working the most.

Several months ago, I was at Mass, praying and thinking about our house situation. We’d been told we would be able to move in soon and to expect the next few weeks to be very busy as everything was finished up. Instead, nothing much happened at all, and the house sat mostly untouched for months more. I wondered if we would ever move in and considered that as Jesus roamed around almost nomadically for the last few years of his life, surely, He wasn’t expecting the same from us, right?

Just weeks away from delivering our sixth child, with all our baby things in storage, I felt frustrated, angry, and done. Though we’d worked and saved for this home for years, I would have given it all up in exchange for stability (with a yard). The homily during Mass happened to be a reflection on the dedication of that church many years ago, and as the priest talked sentimentally of permanently installing the Tabernacle which had traveled with the people for Masses before the church building had been built, the Lord spoke to my heart.

I realized that since the very creation of our beautiful world, God has made a home with us. In Genesis we’re told that God walked in the garden [with Adam and Eve] (Genesis 3:8). In Exodus God went before the Israelites in a pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21). Again in Exodus, God descended on Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:18-20, Exodus 24:16-17). After the Lord gave Israel the Ten Commandments and commanded them to build the Ark of the Covenant and Tabernacle, He came to dwell within the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-38).

In the New Testament, God becomes incarnate and inhabits Mary, the new Tabernacle, as she carries Jesus to His delivery on Christmas Day (John 1:3, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18). After Jesus’ death and Resurrection, through Baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), and the descent of the Holy Spirit, God Himself dwells in each of us who are baptized and in a state of grace (Acts 2:1-4).




God wants to make His home literally in us and asks us to make ours with Him.

“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. He who abides me, and I in him, he it is who bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5, RSVCE).


God desires a place of permanence for us. He desires stability for us. He desires home for us. He desires and has given us every good thing (James 1:17). Those good things are found in our relationship with Christ; a place of stability and permanence is found in our life with and through Him. 

Click to tweet:
God wants to make His home literally in us and asks us to make ours with Him. #catholicmom


The entire Bible is God’s written love story with us. The Israelites wandered in the desert 40 years more than they needed to because they were more focused on what they could see—their own will—than on what God saw and what He willed. A journey that could have taken the Israelites roughly 10 days took 40 years. The hundreds of years they had been enslaved in Egypt had also enslaved their hearts to idols, ideas, and ideals that are not God’s. 

How alike we are. When called to abide in Christ, we abide in just about anything else. St. Augustine of Hippo famously wrote, “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.” We are meant for God alone, and only He knows what will help us draw closer to Him and what will hinder us. He knows our hearts intimately and He desires for us to allow Him into ourselves vulnerably enough that we might will His will more than our own—that He might truly take up residence within us.

How can we encounter Him within us? How can we more deeply abide in Him?



Copyright 2022 Lindsey Mitzel
Images: Canva