“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” Jn 14:6 NASB
Sadly, there are millions of people living today that do not know or experience the Abundant Life we were created to have. As I have said many times, this Life God offers has little to do with material things. This Life Jesus died to give us has little to do with our status in this world. This Life the Holy Spirit will develop within us has little to do with our abilities or intellect. This Abundant Life is all about experiencing circumstances supernaturally. I have said this so many times, but here it is again: the Abundant Life is all about becoming more and more like Jesus so we can have peace that surpasses understanding, joy that gives us strength to keep on moving forward no matter what and a sense of true righteousness that helps us be a blessing. As a matter of fact, I have said it so many times that I think we, me included, are not getting the full impact of what an incredible Life this really is. This peace, joy and righteousness changes everything even when life continues to be challenging. Let’s talk about it.
Peace that surpasses understanding. When Beckie first began having seizures and falling into comas, I naturally would go into a panic and be completely filled with fear for her life. This would leave me unable to focus and think straight to make the decisions required for her health.Sadly, the medical “professionals” were not much help. They would toss their hands up in surrender and “advise” me that “this is just the way she will be.” As you can imagine that was not acceptable to me. As a result, I would spend hours trying to figure out what was going wrong with her health and more hours trying to come up with a plan to stop these horrific episodes. The problem with that is, just when I “figured it out,” some other mysterious thing would happen and I had to start all over again trying to re-figure it all out. Instead of spending time just being with Beckie, I would be immersed in researching how to heal her. This is an example of what we humans do. We try to control every aspect of this life instead of trusting God to simply guide us to whatever it is He has planned. We try to come up with worldly answers instead of relying on God’s wise solutions. Towards the end of my Angel Pie’s life here, when she would have yet another episode, I ran to God instead of my own understanding and received His Peace which gave me clarity and insight to make the right choices, which also freed me to simply be with Beckie and enjoy her companionship. This peace I experienced doesn’t make human sense because she was still going through difficult situations, but I no longer worried about them. I knew God was in control and He would tell me what I needed to do and when, who I needed to speak with and what to say, how I needed to influence others to help etc, etc, etc. As I grew in Christ, I was able to obey His Way and discern His Truth and that allowed me to grab a tighter hold of His Peace which changed the way I experienced her episodes. Instead of panic and fear, I had peace and faith. While I still hated what she went through, I was able to keep myself under control, make the choices that needed to be made, then just hold her hand, sing to comfort her, talk to her about joyful memories etc, etc, etc. Because I had grown in this Abundant Life, both our experiences changed for the better. You cannot put a value on this sweet peace that surpasses understanding.
Joy that gives us strength to keep on moving forward no matter what. When Beckie first began having all these challenges, I wanted to give up. It was just too much for me to handle. It was just too painful for me to go through. It was just too heartbreaking for me to watch her fade away. I just wanted to throw in the towel, run for the hills, hide under a rock etc, etc, etc. But God would not let me go. He continued to move my heart to trust Him. He continued to show me how much He loves us. He continued to draw me deeper into this most amazing relationship and that brought me a joy I cannot explain. I still hated what she was going through, but I knew that God was with us and that He loves us both beyond this world and above this life’s circumstances. This ignited a joy so deep within me that I continued to get up when I fell. I continued to seek help for her when I was told there was none. I continued to watch God bring her back from one life threatening episode after the next. And I became stronger than I ever thought I could be. There was nothing I couldn’t and didn’t do for my Angel Pie. Everything from giving her injections to changing her tracheostomy to driving her all over for appointments and procedures and transfusions etc, etc, etc. This Joy from God developed me to go from a weak, timid, worldly person to a strong, brave, woman of Faith who can endure whatever this world tries to throw at her. There really is nothing I cannot do through Christ Who strengthens me.
A sense of true righteousness that helps us be a blessing. When Beckie first got sick, I knew there was something wrong with me. I could never feel at ease for very long. I could never sense content for more than a few minutes. I could never grasp peace or joy that would last. It wasn’t until I began to grow in Christ that this gift of righteousness began to grow in me. As I believed God loves me, as it became real to me that Jesus was always by my side, as I experienced His Peace and Joy, I finally felt right inside. I began to be at ease with who I am, even while I sought to be more and more mature. I began to feel content with life, even if things weren’t the way I would like them to be. I began to live this life more and more abundantly, not only being at peace myself, but helping others find peace too. Not only sensing God’s Joy, but helping others seek it too. This Abundant Life is not only about our own peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit, but it is about allowing these precious godly virtues to spill over into the lives of those around you too. One of the most amazing comments I have gotten is when someone tells me, “I feel so much better after speaking with you.” This is not me, but Christ in and through me. His goodness filling me up so much that it overflows from me without me having to consciously do anything except be who He is creating me to be. It is such a deep connection with our Holy Maker that I feel like I am already in Heaven.
Lord, show me Life. My Friends, the Abundant Life…this Life that is not only what Jesus wants to give us, but is the very Person of Christ…the Abundant Life has to be freely and willfully experienced. That means it is a Free Will choice we must make with each and every choice we make. Will I continue to live like I used to filled with panic and fear or will I choose to trust God and let Him fill me with peace and faith? Will I continue to be weak and timid or will I grasp His Joy and be strong and brave? Will I continue to feel like something is wrong inside or will I surrender to Jesus and receive the gift of righteousness? I am eternally grateful to God I chose Life, and I continue to choose Jesus. How about you? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think.
<>< Peace, Diane