|Plentiful, copious, ample, profuse, rich, lavish, abounding, liberal, generous, bountiful, large, huge, great, overflowing – all synonymous to abundant. Whew – that’s a lot of words meaning the same thing – an abundant amount of words. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It is what Christ came to give us – abundant freedom. Never-ending freedom! A second chance, a fresh start, a new beginning. And still, so many of us (followers of Christ or not) live in bondage. Why? Because it is where the enemy wants us and he works hard to keep us there; and we let him…There are times in the day, and EVEN whole days where I feel abundantly free, and then I talk to someone on the phone (someone that routinely makes me feel “not good enough”) and I allow them to make me feel small and unworthy…or I forget to do something I promised I would do, and I feel stupid, old, and forgetful…or someone cuts me off in traffic, or the pain in my back becomes unbearable; all these things tie me up momentarily and lead me down the path away from Jesus. I let the enemy gain a little bit more of a stronghold each time I react in a negative way. When I crawl back into my depression, or get angry, or scared – I’m not exercising my abundant freedom. I’m just being honest (real) with myself, and with you.I’m asking God to take each thought captive. To tame my tongue. To give me strength, courage and love for others, so that I may speak truthfully, and set boundaries where needed. I am asking him to give me supernatural tolerance for the pain I have physically. I am asking for wisdom, boldly! I am asking him to help me see things from his vantage point, not mine. There is nothing too big for him, no request too outrageous. He is greater! Greater than what? Who? You name it – fill in the blank. He is just GREATER!
I am so far from where I want to be in being a follower of Christ! And even so, I am so far from where I was 10 years ago, one year ago, last month because he is able! He isn’t finished with me – he is using each circumstance, every pain, all the things I think I can’t handle to shape me and grow me. Every day, like the Velveteen Rabbit, I become more real. More ready for the ultimate “realness” – to be with God and in the meantime, to share with others about the “real” moments! So on the days when I feel like I’ve been forgotten on the back lawn in the wet grass, or thrown out with the trash – I remember that these moments make me a little more real. And real is good! Abundantly good! Abundantly FREE!
But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NIV)