Here’s something I can’t quite comprehend. There are roughly 7 billion people on this planet. 7 billion individual people with their own sets of desires and longings and hopes and dreams. Their own private struggles and needs and pleasures stirring around in the depths of their intricate souls. And to each and every one of these complex and diverse 7 billion people, Jesus has come to with arms outstretched, offering life to the full. Abundance.
This is a lot of abundance.
It’s fistfuls of sand, each grain equalling a nugget of pure gold. It’s bucketfuls of water, each drop worth a sparkling diamond. It’s unmatched joy and unending hope and unshakable security and unparalleled blessing. It’s immeasurably more than anything you could ask or imagine.
Reach into your wildest imagination and tell me what you think abundance might look like in your right-now life.
I see mornings that we wake up energized and excited for the day ahead. Platefuls of healthy, nourishing food every meal. Eight glasses full of clear, fresh, ice cold water every day. Meaningful careers and life-giving jobs where we feel both satisfied and stimulated, while also contributing to the greater good of those around us. Peaceful homes to return to, filled with people we connect intimately with and genuinely enjoy. Bodies that serve us, that allow us to run and dance and laugh heartily from the depths of our bellies. Sweet rest given to us, night after night, uninterrupted by worries or anxiety, rewarding us for our labor and equipping us for the next day.
If this is the abundance we can conjure up in our heads, our greatest imaginings of what our lives could be like at their very best, I can’t even fathom what the God of the universe – the God who hung each planet in all the solar systems and molded every mountain range in his hand – has in mind for us when he says he wants us to live in abundance.
His love for us is vast, his blessings are too many to name, his grace is lavish. His abundance is as deep as the ocean. And yet we limit ourselves to experience only fractions of what he has for us. We’re, as C.S. Lewis said, “like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.”
We wake up exhausted, trudging through the hours and counting down the days until Friday. We squeeze into pants too small, we hold our wallets tightly, we parcel out our time begrudgingly. We race from task to task, struggling to catch our breath, inhaling processed food in the car, constantly overwhelmed and feeling behind and inadequate. Surely this is not abundance.
Maybe we think we don’t deserve it. That Jesus wasn’t talking to us when he offered us abundance. That we have to wait until heaven to receive it. It sounds nice and all, but surely that verse doesn’t apply to me. Aren’t we are misinterpreting these words of Jesus if we think that it meant this verse has bearing on the daily life we’re all sloughing through?
You might be able to parse the Greek translation, to quote every theologian on this verse, and list off a dozen reasons why the abundant life doesn’t affect your sucky right-now life, but I’ve gone through all those lexicons and commentaries too, and have come to this conclusion.
When Jesus says something, he means it.
And he said he had come to give you abundant life.
Anything less than that is the thief, stealing, killing, destroying, doing his thing.
But Christ has come. He is here. And he’s bringing with him armloads of his very best for you, his beloved child. Can you open your eyes for just a minute to all this unmatched goodness? Lavishly he dumps it all right their at our feet. Piles and piles of unending grace. It won’t stop, a never ending sparkling stream of the favor of God poured out for you.
“I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!” – John 10:10 (TPT)
Stretch out your arms and receive.
Yeah, it looks different than you expected. Of course it does. How could our feeble expectations imagine what abundance from the throne room of heaven would look like. It is absolutely immeasurably more than we could think or imagine.
I’ve spent most of my life wondering what the abundant life actually means, and if it actually has any bearing on my day-to-day living. You too? I thought so. We’ve all heard about this abundance and life to the full, but what does it look like in real, normal, every day life? How might we experience it today, in our right-now lives, in tangible ways? Our morning routines, our activity on social media, our careers and jobs, our marriages, our artistic endeavors, our physical bodies?
We’ve pinned the pithy quotes and discussed the philosophical musings. It’s time to take to discover how to encounter the abundant life PRACTICALLY.
I hope you’ll join me for this series. If you’d like each installment sent directly to your inbox, sign up below. Let’s receive abundance together.