I feel almost speechless after the weekend I had. First of all, I have a case of the Mondays. (Again, if you haven’t heard of Office Space or seen that movie, you may very well be dead to me. I won’t poll my tiny almost non existent audience though.) I literally scared myself when I looked in the mirror this morning. It was a combination of college years hangovers (that I largely regret), Mufasa, and the Bride of Frankenstein. A weekend of worship and fellowship with some of my closest friends, late night talks, food comas, time changes, and the ever dreaded “everything is now yellow and my eyes are almost swollen shut” south (aka, pollen or the devil’s dust) has all run me over like a freight train. And it went in reverse and hit me again. My son even asked to stay home from preschool today. Uhm, NO! You will get your happy pants on and go so I can siphon coffee until your pint sized tyrant self returns in four hours. And all the mommies said “AMEN, HALLELUJER PRAISE THE LORT!” (I obviously have a thing for movie quotes).
I really don’t want to get into debates about the time change and rally us all together to petition our wonderful government to quit torturing us though. We all know they can’t make up their mind about anything anyway. But seriously, we have these things called clocks now and we don’t tell time by the rising and setting of the sun. Except maybe the Alaskan Bush People, also dubbed “Dusty Dusty Field Journal” by my son. Don’t ask. I have no idea, as with most things, where he got that from. I’m losing you I know. You have stepped into the light. Come back!
Although we have an abundance of pollen wreaking havoc on everything we own and our nostrils right now, and I am emotionally hung over from this weekend, and what I can’t get enough of is Jesus. This weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending LifeWay’s Abundance Event in Asheville, NC with 3500 other women from 25 states. That’s a lot of estrogen. But more than that, it was a lot of ears and hearts tuned in to what some amazing women (and lone man) had to say about living an abundant life.
Having an abundant life isn’t about having more “things.” We can have the largest home, the most luxurious vehicles, the finest clothes and still be missing true joy in life that comes only from Jesus Christ. A full life is not an abundant life. We can have both of them, but they don’t mean the same thing. And we can have an abundant life and still have pains and struggles. Being a Christian does not exempt us from trials. But as Annie Downs stated, “Jesus changes how you see what he’s already given you. Use your abundance glasses.”
We also don’t have to have the perfect life to have an abundant life. If you open your Bible and read it, you will see that God used the most unlikely and mistake prone people to accomplish some of the greatest tasks. He loves sinners. And yes Christians, that is you too. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as any more deserving of His grace and mercy than the murderer, thief, or even terrorist. He died for all. We are all sinners and none of us deserve the abundance that God has lavished on us, yet he sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins. He is the only perfect one. So to believe that you have to have your act cleaned up before experiencing the abundant life from Jesus is a lie (Lisa Harper).
Finally, so many of us, myself included, have bought into the lie that because of my sin or because we are in the midst of one of life’s many trials, that we don’t have an abundant life. But friends, knowing Jesus IS having the abundant life. James tells us to count it all joy when we encounter trials of many kinds. Why? Because trials strengthen our faith and obedience in the Lord. They are not meant as punishment. They are meant as ways to draw us closer to him.
I don’t know about you, but I want the abundant life. I don’t want a shell of what it should look like. I want it all. I want more of the Lord and all He has to offer me. (And I want less time changes and pollen). So did 80-100 other women, as best I can recall, who turned their lives over to Jesus this weekend and said yes to that abundant life. If you are struggling in the midst of some hard stuff right now, and feel like your life is far from abundant, I want to ask if you are looking to God to handle it, or are you trying to solve it in your own power? Have you truly lay it at the feet of Jesus and asked Him to give you a different set of lenses? Friends, he died on the cross for a reason – and that reason is YOU.