Jesus came in a moment of time so that our times would be abundant. Does that mean pain-free, sorrow-free, dark-cloud-free day after day? Any Christ-follower with a shred of integrity knows that can’t be it. So how do we make sense out of these words from Jesus?
“I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
If physical ease is not the gift, what is?
I sat in the bistro of my Mom’s lovely retirement home. The quiet, early morning view gave me time to be still. The silence was interrupted when I overheard a short conversation in the nearby hall. A physical therapist was giving a pep talk to her patient, a 90 something gripping her new walker after a recent broken hip. She was learning to navigate the healing process.
After the instructions and encouragement to keep at it ... a pause. Then I heard:
“Yes…” first softly, then with purposed determination, “Yes. I’ll try. I don’t want to live as an invalid.”
A fall at that age can punch the will right out of a person. But not this courageous woman. She has a plan to live abundantly.
And I sensed the Lord’s Whisper to me: What are you doing to live abundantly all the way to the end?
At this point in my life I don’t need a retirement home, a walker or a physical therapist. But I do need motivation, perhaps inspiration to take another step. And my pursuit is for Christ and the abundant life He came to present in person.
As a Christ follower for many years now, I know some spiritual disciplines that can open the doors to abundance: time in His Word, dialoguing with Him throughout the day, growing relationships with His family that include both giving and receiving…
But periodically, my soul needs the special attention of a skilled therapist. Through the seasons, I learned this periodically means a TIME OUT. A time to come away, to leave the pressures of life and to be still. And so I leave the familiar pattern of my life and take a personal retreat with Jesus.
During those hours, and sometimes days, the Lord does for me what the physical therapist did for the brave, hip-injured lady: He offers specific instruction; He speaks tender words of encouragement; He invites me to both go and stop; and He walks with me one step at a time as I catch sight of a new path to take.
Receiving the Gift of Jesus happens once, but embracing abundance is a life-long journey. I’ve discovered the noisy demands of daily living require periods of coming away. I’m not alone in my need to retreat. Jesus took them, too:
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
If Jesus needed time alone with His Father, don’t we? Would you consider coming away?
Inspired by an aging woman who’s giving her all to getting stronger, I want to live with a spirit that stays focused on living abundantly. I invite you to join me for weekend with Jesus.
Our next “Dare to Be Still” retreat is March 17-18
at Driftwood Shores in Florence
Register here by March 2
Click to read more about Dare To Be Still...a weekend experience with God
“The soul needs peace and silence, gratitude and blessing, contemplation and rest, prayer and worship. Yet everything about our culture is pushing us away from what matters the most: the cure and care of our souls, and learning to live wisely and well.”
- James Bryan Smith
Would you consider a gift for yourself… the gift of stillness with Christ, a time to soak in the abundance? It’s a DARE to believe life can go on without you for a couple days and a DARE to trust that when you arrive Jesus will be there. I promise – you won’t be disappointed. In fact, invite a friend to join you. Create a memory that just may change your life!