I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Most believers in Jesus trust in this promise-----in theory. But I am coming to learn that abudant life is not only won at the end of a long, arduous walk. It is a wholeness found in wrong, unsteady, disheveled circumstances. It is given to us by the Spirit of God.
The enemy bends and warps the world around us in an attempt to "kill and destroy" the peace that comes with recognising and experiencing the imaginative, creative power and presence of God, whose companionship brings "fullness of joy" (John 10v10; Psalm 16v11).
Abundant living is about looking to Christ, and in doing so, finding rest in small, exquisite things. I'm afraid. The coronavirus pandemic has made me feel frightened. Reading these verses has inspired me to reflect on "the evidence of abundancy" in my circumstances despite (and in the midst of) the current COVID-19 crisis.
I've documented a list below:
Fresh fruit. Oranges. Pinneapple. Bananas. Lemons & Limes. Tomatoes. Butternut Squash. Coffee & the four-additional Green Tea Bags hidden in the side pocket of the drawer. Sunshine. Social Media, and connection. Sistership. Scrabble. Long facetime conversations. Warm bulbs in soft lampshades. Laughter. Memories of Washington, D.C. + a broken violin. Reading. The ability to access Short Stories online. Clean Duvet Covers. The strength to edit the first two paragraphs of my Creative Thesis. Aesthetic Instagram Filters. Sleep. A kind email from my Professor. Good health for everyone in my Family. Sharing Sweaters (since most of mine were left in Oxford). Amazon, to order new poetry collections for review. Ellie's Violin Practices. Campfires on Fridays, and Wednesdays, and the days merged into one, extended weekend. Cold aloe vera in the Fridge. continue.
It's now Friday, and there's a glow-y feel to the morning. I think it's because yesterday was beautifully productive, and after weeks of fatigue and severe migraines, the spell was uplifting.
There's one verse I'd like to share with you. It has been a comfort for me in moments when my brain feels the chaos of uncertainty and exhaustion. Perhaps you have heard it before?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and protect you, plans to give you hope and a future.
--- Jeremiah 29v11
Yesterday evening I received a message from a dear friend I haven't spoken to in years. It arrived suddenly, unexpected, like a sunshower. At the top of the text was this verse.
Have you ever felt that near deja-vu experience when you know you've seen or heard the same thing earlier in the day, but cannot remember where or why or under what context such a memory existed? This was true in this instance. For a long while I thought about where this verse had featured in my morning. Then I realized. I'd recapped a synopsis of Louie Giglio's Goliath Must Fall for an upcoming Monday Review.
Published by Thomas Nelson in 2017, Goliath Must Fall is truly a brilliant, recommended read. In the collection, Giglio considers the overwhelming sense of rejection, fear, anger, comfort and addiction that is alive in the world and highlights God's plan: a plan for men and women to live in victory, a plan for abundance and protection,a plan with future and hope. This was such a beautiful, unanticipated way to receive confirmation that God's promise is unchanging in this uprooted time.
A friend of mine recently published a post on Seclusion and wrote these words:
My heart has rarely felt so thankful as it does right now. Times are uncertain for sure, [...] and yet, I've never felt closer to God. I have such a sense of God's peace. His shalom. He is giving me such a holy boldness, a refreshed sense of urgency I guess. I need my friends and family to know there is a God who utterly and completely loves them. Who wants to lavish His love on them. Who wants them to live with the purpose he chose for their lives. He is that wonderful, that immense. He is simply everything.
This message ♡ My friends, I am praying that God meets you like this too. In his peace and security. With all my love
P. S. If any of you have any prayer-requests or would like to reach out for company, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Insta: shanleymcconnell. To read the above post, Seclusion, click the link here.