On the last Sunday of the month, our church includes a Litany of Healing in the service. One of the first lines invokes God’s will for us to “have life, and have it more abundantly.” Hearing that phrase in the context of a prayer for healing helped me understand the type of “abundant” life that God wants for us.
Some people think that God wants us all to be rich, but while preachers of the Prosperity Gospel have their followers, I can’t find support for their message in the simple life that Jesus led, or in His teachings.
It is true that in John 10:10, Jesus says:
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
But in Matthew 6: 19-21, He says:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustconsume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
And in Matthew 19:21, he tells the rich man:
If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the moneyto the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.
So, if I don’t think God’s will for us is tied to our bank accounts, what do I think an abundant life looks like?
The abundant life I am blessed with has at its foundation the certain knowledge that I am a beloved child of God. Beyond that, I find abundance in the love and support of family and friends; the challenge, satisfaction and financial security of my job, and the joy I find in simple pleasures.
Catching a gorgeous sunrise reminds me of the abundant promise of a new day.
The views at the Grand Canyon reminded of the abundant beauty of the world around us.
When I am able to pray without worrying,
I draw on the abundant peace that comes from placing my trust in God.
This is the abundant life I want for my children: to know they are loved, to have friends in good times and bad, to find work that challenges and satisfies, to experience joy and wonder, and to know peace even when the world seems chaotic. I think that’s the type of abundance that God wants for us all.
What abundance are you grateful for today?