What does abundant life look like?
How easy it is to wake up surrounded by all the things associated with success and happiness. The comfort of a familiar place, the sights and sounds of a daily routine, the faces of people we know. Jesus said He came so that we might have life and have it abundantly. But abundance is overshadowed by 21st century convenience enveloping us like a warm blanket on a cold day.
Stepping off the airplane in South Asia, you immediately sense the aroma of diesel fuel. It’s a constant companion everywhere you go. As you look to the streets, you see the hustle and bustle of thousands of two-stroke motors powering rickshaws and mopeds, all flowing along lane-less roads like water, seemingly without rules. There’s the ubiquitous presence of heavy trucks bearing the name “Tata,” the words “Blow Horn” emblazoned across their back bumpers. Those bleating horns surround you as cattle meander oddly back and forth, some laying in the middle of the street, traffic whizzing by all around.
Everything looks grimy. Nothing is made of wood. Cement blocks and mud bricks, bamboo bracing and iron rebar — these comprise the uneven buildings. Thatch, sheet metal, and clay-tiled roofs abound. Not an asphalt shingle in sight. Overhead power lines look like a tangled web of spaghetti, dangling precariously from concrete poles. There’s no such thing as a building code.
The people’s eyes are all so black — not green, never blue — in stark contrast to their colorful clothes. No one is blonde. Everywhere you stand out, create a spectacle, and often draw a crowd. People want to meet you, speak with you, or take a selfie with you. They want to hear how you talk. They ask, “Why are you here?”
You’re invited into their homes and offered food and drink. When you remove your shoes, they bend to wash your feet. The hospitality is overwhelming. In a room with no chairs, they scramble to provide you a seat. In a building with no air conditioning, they rush to bring you a fan. You’re the center of attention.
Your anticipation grows because you’ve come for a purpose. You have a message to deliver, a story to tell. You’ve traveled thousands of miles to shine a light into the darkness. On the airplane during hours upon hours of flight, you’ve thought, rehearsed, and prepared. You’ve prayed for this moment. Lord, let me be your instrument.
Have you ever wondered who created the moon and the stars?
A simple question starts a beautiful conversation. People smile, nodding their heads. They reach for your hand, joyously accepting the free gift that’s being offered. You start searching for water — a pond, a river, or a lake — so they can be born into a new life.
The power of God acts and flows through you. This is the abundance of life.
After a while you leave this place, but it never leaves you. God has changed them. He’s changed you, too. Please consider joining me this April as we experience the abundant life together.