Photo by Jina Lee (c) 2007, via Wikimedia Commons.
Living to the fullest, abundantly. John 10:10
The paper was a bit wrinkled. On it was a drawing of two people. Thrusting it towards Maggie, the Camp Head Counselor, I stood there rocking back and forth on my heels, hoping for a “Wow, who is this lovely couple?” I told her it was a Bride and a “Broom.” Yes, that is what I called the man back then.
I’ve always had a fascination with weddings. I love the gowns, décor, flowers, colors and the celebration. I still scour through bridal magazines.
My career was as a floral designer, which gave me an upfront look into weddings. I’d meet a bride with a blank palette. She would describe her vision. Each came in with unique ideas for style, types of flowers and colors. I would then execute her dreams into reality.
There used to be this show called “The Wedding Planner.” The wedding planner met with a couple to hear their preliminary wedding plans. He then informed them that everything will be changed, her gown, her bride’s maid’s gowns, the flowers, venue, décor, menu and the cake … all changed. They have no idea, until their wedding day, how this will unfold.
On the day, when all was revealed, the couple was inevitably speechless. Their faces show that everything was beyond expectations.
When I was newly saved, I heard teachers that spoke in error. I was led to believe I would get rich, get all worldly goods I desired. Plus, I believed, with faith, nothing would go wrong. No one would ever get sick in my family. Life would be a bed of roses. This, I was told, was the abundant life Jesus promised.
I thank God I shortly received good Bible based teaching that told the truth and not a fairytale.
Then what is the abundant life?
The Greek word for abundance is perissos, which means a quality so abundant and over the top of what one would expect.
Life, in its fullest sense, means eternal life. But Peter tells us about growing in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). This suggests that abundant life, here on earth, is about learning and practicing and even failing and recovering. We learn to endure and overcome in our life’s circumstances.
The very simple fact that we are children of God, life on earth exceeds what it would be without Him. But even this life pales in comparison to what the Lord has promised us. Eye has not seen or ear has not heard, nor entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Back to weddings, do you think about the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? I do. It is not my reality yet; I think back on weddings I’ve attended, as well as the couples on the show. I think, “Lord, no matter how extravagant our plans, what you have for us far exceeds anything we know. Wow!”
Lord, I try to think of 5 things every day to be grateful for. I know being able to live an abundant life is meant for today. I know we are not to look back and “live in the past” but it is profitable to do so, when we can compare today and yesterday in order to say thanks.
To learn more about Linda Maynard, view our Contributors Page.