Day 10:Abundant Life
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
abundant [uh–buhn-duh nt]
Exploring the beachside at sunset, declaring “I do” to the one you love, laughing until your voice gives out – these are times when we truly feel alive. Everything in us bursts with life, and our hearts reverberate with joy.
Those moments are abundant life.
And, in the same breath, they’re not. Not entirely.
When I hear that Jesus came to give me abundant life, I imagine perpetual bliss. Perhaps you do, as well. While bliss is in the picture, it’s not the whole picture. The beautiful, sacred memories we treasure are a slice of abundant life. However, we can also experience abundant life in the midst of stress, pain, and frustration.
The truth is that abundant life isn’t defined by how good or bad life is going. Instead, it’s defined by my heart condition. How tender and open is my heart to God during the ups and downs of life?
The Easter story is the perfect illustration of this. While Jesus was preparing to be arrested and die on the cross, he pleaded with God: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). According to the Blue Letter Bible, the word “cup” is a metaphor for “One’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse … likened to a cup which God presents one to drink: so of prosperity and adversity.”
Abundant life is about drinking deeply of whatever cup God gives us. It’s about feeling to the fullest, all the while trusting that God will redeem our pain and enhance our joys.
Jesus didn’t turn on autopilot and cruise through life. Whether he was struggling with temptation or celebrating with his disciples, he invited God into every aspect of his day. His life was the very essence of “abundant” – rich, overflowing, and plentiful. Best yet, the abundance of His life spilled over into ours – bringing redemption, love, and grace into our dusty and dry souls.
Perhaps that’s the best part of living life abundantly – the overflow always spills into the lives of those near us.
Whether we’re having a mountaintop or a valley experience, let’s invite God in. I pray that Psalm 66:12b will be true of our lives: “We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.”
points to ponder
How engaged are you in life currently?
What cup is God asking you to drink today?
What’s one way you can invite God into your joys or trials?
Jesus, thank you for your example of how to live abundantly. Help me to live constantly surrendered to you. When life is difficult and painful, let my trust in you endure. Redeem the hardship for your Kingdom. When life is beautiful, celebrate with me. Let me feel your love poignantly.
I pray you’ll fill my surrendered life with abundance. And I pray that the abundance will spill over into other’s lives and bless them.
Thanks to our guest writer, Amber Miller, for writing today’s post! Amber is Jane’s daughter and Mary’s niece. Here’s how she describes herself: Board game fanatic, coffee enthusiast, and proponent of loud laughing. I Live in St. Louis with my incredible husband, trying to further God’s Kingdom one small step at a time. You can read Amber’s blog at LiveandLaughLoud.com.
Way to go! You’re so right – abundant life is all of it, not just the blissful or surreal times, because Jesus can (and does, if you give it to Him) make it all beautiful and joyful and worth it. <3
Love you Amber!