sitting deep in a puddle of grief, i bow my head in whispered prayer, and i hear it, "life abundant" whispered back to me. i ignore it. "life abundant" i keep praying because i don't understand it. "life abundant" and it wouldn't make sense to me if i asked, right? "life abundant" and there it is again, "life abundant" and so i am quiet. sitting still. "life abundant"
"okay Lord, what does that mean?" i ask Him in a tone that is clearly punishable.
silence. i ask, "a full life? ...full of what? grief?" still i am short tempered and He is so gracious.
and i know that blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted ( matthew 5:4 ) and a women asked me, "where's the blessing in this?" her son taken in a car wreck. i had no proper words to speak back to her. floundering i tried, "the blessing in the grief we feel is the deep comfort that comes only from He who is Comfort." and i know it's not what she wants to hear and that this and all it's painful blisters upon our hearts is part of life abundant? a life full of Grace?
death was not part of His plan but we've been tasting it since the fall. for if, by the trespass of the one man [adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man, Jesus Christ. ( romans 5:17) still, He has mercy and extends His comfort so deeply for those who mourn that we are blessed. to taste death and to feel it's bitterness melting into my tongue and its tight grief-grip around my heart, and if i let Him get close enough He'll comfort me to the point of a blessing. and i will emerge lighter and closer to Him for it.
life abundant. full life. that kind of "drinking from my saucer" kind of full and my lap is wet with an abundant tidal wave of tears. and compassion. and love. and i except the good with the bad from a God who is good all the time and more faithful then i could ever be at my best.
later this day i reach for my bible in a strange almost-drop-it kind of reach because i don't want to get up out of my warm bed. it's quite a reach. finally...got...it...my bible opens funny on my lap to jeremiah 33. i look down and my eyes rest on it; and i know this was a Divine strange almost-drop-it kind of reach because it speaks to me affirmations of how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that i may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (ephesians 3:18) and my eyes cloud over as i read the words and i have to squeeze out the love tears so that i can read the verse to the end: jeremiah 33:6 nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. knowing full well this is no way to study my bible, i just can't help but think, this is part of that life abundant i was hearing earlier today. a healing to His people. peace! and security! in abundance! and that His plans are declared to prosper me and not to harm me but to give me hope and a future (jeremiah 29:11) and doesn't all this tangle in abundance? fullness?
life abundant. even in my abundant grief. and i am blessed.