an abundant life

An Abundant Life

“The thief comes to kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

For Thanksgiving this year, I made three different kinds of pies simply because we all have a different favorite on Turkey Day.  I hated the idea of someone having to settle; I mean – it’s Thanksgiving! I equally hated the idea of having large portions of 3 whole pies left over!  Consequently, I made mini-pies in all our favorite flavors. We enjoyed an abundance of pies!

It reminded me of the day I asked my favorite red-head, “Baby girl… if it were a perfect world, would you rather have x or y?” Without skipping a beat, my sassy daughter quipped in reply, “Mama, if it’s a perfect world, why would I choose. I get both.” She stared at me coldly for a half second before letting out a sarcastic deep belly laugh.

Please note how she took command of the situation and announced that she would get both. Her stubborn will served her well in her life (and caused her mama much consternation).

While I rolled out the pie dough and carefully pressed it into the muffin tins, I thought about the abundance my daughter often lived within – confidently comfortable with the idea that the world was hers and the rest of us were just guests. Ha!

I also remembered the abundant life Christ wants for us. How he wants us to be confidently comfortable with the idea that he has abundance for us.

John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes to kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.”

Have [life] abundantly

Like the pie crusts, whose simple ingredients need to be measured carefully and then pressed with intention, God’s word and his will for our lives hold us all together… if we intentionally choose Him.  The abundant life he offers us isn’t the irreverent world in which my child pretended to reign as a princess; no, the abundant life Christ offers us exists when we live with Him and when His words live with us.

I think my stubborn will, what I want or that I want it all (like mother, like daughter) often steals my abundant life. I think I look for the clean if/then statements of a token economy instead of the simplicity and complexity of faith. I think when I hear the word abundant – I see a life with financial security, with successful coaching seasons, with healthy children, with a loving community, and a secure and peaceful nation – just to name a few.

But abundance isn’t measured by just the safety our simple minds crave. The abundance John 10:10 promises us occurs when we find comfort or solace or peace

  • even though our team is suffering a losing season
  • even when our coach gets passed over for the coordinator or head coaching position
  • even if illness finds our loved ones

It’s hard to see abundance when we hurt; it’s very hard, and you know what – God knows that.

Abundance accompanies us when we acknowledge that our lives fill up with God’s presence 

  • in the winning and the losing
  • in the comfort and in the stress
  • in the midst of blessing and in the midst of pain

God wants to fill our lives with the promise of His grace; he longs for our lives to overflow with His mercies, and he wants nothing more than to fill our lives with His presence – not just when our children’s laughter bounds down the stairs, or when our team wins in the last seconds of the final quarter – but even when our hearts shatter and our souls are crushed.

I believe in His abundance – even in my most empty moments, even when I feel like this coaching life has betrayed me, and even beneath an avalanche of grief. Because when I can feel again, when I can look back – I always see God pouring into my life, holding up the edges, and sending souls to stand in the gap. And for that, I am abundantly thankful.

Note to Reader: We all bring our different life experiences when we read any kind of literature – but especially Scripture; consequently, the body of the work will resonate uniquely with each of us. My goal is not to put the Holy Spirit in a box by saying or implying – “Here’s what these words mean…” Instead, I hope you read each devotional knowing that God wants to speak to you too. Our experiences may be different, but we can all learn from each other’s lives. God will meet you where you are, the same way he meets me if you ask him to.