I suppose this idea of living abundantly has really captured my heart lately because I seem to be writing about it unintentionally often! Life can wash over us like a flood some days and I suppose I have left a very long season that felt like drowning more than living. This verse has challenged me to think about what I define as life and what God does. Even those seasons that overwhelmed me were for a purpose!
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus came to bring life, but we don't define what life is…He does. I fight this. I want to define life, I want to create my world and live up to my high expectations.
I had big dreams, ones that didn’t come true. There are areas of my current reality that I never dreamed of and now I would not want taken away. They are all gifts God gave and life He breathed into being I never imagined. So why do I fight for control? Why do I so easily forget that if He is good then the life He gives is good? If only I would take off my blinders.
He is life.
He is the beginning
He Is the end
the in between is orchestrated by His hands.
Abundant life is not what most of my days look like. Abundant life is not waking up exhausted and making coffee before you make butterfly shaped pancakes for your daughter half-heartedly. Abundance overflows. But, it doesn’t overflow out of exhaustion, stress, fear, anxiety, chaos and my own effort.
When I don’t leave time to enjoy the gifts God has given me, when I can’t make time to pray or be in quiet with Him, when I have said “yes” to too much and “no” to too little I find that the thief has come.
We can so easily take on too many “good” things that we aren’t able to enjoy any of them. We can spend so much time taking care of our family, friends and coworkers that we forget we didn’t take care of our-self. We can be so distracted by involvement with beneficial things that we forget the purpose behind why we do them. Our heart grows numb. We feel stuck and broken.
But there is still hope! God didn’t leave us stranded…He sent a rescuer. One who pulls us out of addiction, depression, and sin and then gives us life! He doesn’t want us to be bored, He doesn’t want things to just be okay…He wants to give us life abundant!
I don’t think this means He is going to give me the abundance of that beach house I want, or the shiny SUV I would like to drive. I do believe that His gift of abundant life is what brings hope and life into the mundane routines of life. We still have to do the dishes, we still have to go to work, we still have to budget our money.
But, His life is a perspective that allows us to do these with purpose and joy.
His way gives us someone to trust when there isn’t enough money, enough time or enough patience.
The life I dreamed up was about me…what I wanted, how I would feel, how I would be praised…He gives us abundant life so we can turn around and praise Him instead! That is a life I want to live instead. One that when it hurts doesn’t leave me alone, one that when it is chaotic doesn’t leave me anxious, one that when I fail doesn’t change that I am also loved!