Monday, September 2, 2013

The Abundant Life

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."  2 Corinthians 9:8

This is Clay.  I haven't written a post in a while, (Jenny's been doing a great job on that front keeping everyone informed of how things are going and what we're learning on the journey.) but I felt like I needed to share some things that I've realized recently.  I've been overwhelmed lately at God's goodness in our lives and the transformation He has made and continues to make in us as we draw near to Him and seek His will.  In my prayer time this last week, I was thinking about His amazing goodness when the words Abundant Life came to mind.
These aren't terms you hear everyday so I've really been focusing on them and thinking about what they mean to me.

I remember when Jenny and I moved to San Antonio a little over 6 years ago.  We were excited to be back in Texas and even more excited to have family nearby.  As we settled into this new phase of our lives we began to acquire all the usual things that go along with it.  I was doing well at work and so was Jenny, so we bought a house, some cars, and pretty quickly we assimilated into suburbia.  If you had asked me if we were living in abundance at the time, I would have said Yes.  But I would have been answering with the wrong definition. Even though we had so much and had a loving family around us, something was missing.  One night driving home from church, I remember Jenny and I talking about how we'd been in San Antonio for a few years and didn't feel like we had any friends.  It was one of those moments where you don't realize how lonely you are until you actually say it.  We had no one other than family that was in fellowship with us and similarly, there was nothing in our lives beyond our work and family that we were connected to.  It's not like we intended this to happen, it just did.  We kept to ourselves, didn't engage people on a personal level and pretty soon, we were living in a way that was isolated and self-absorbed because we had nothing else to be absorbed in.  Thankfully, God has begun to show us what true abundance means.     

In the last two years, we've gone from a sense of isolation and loneliness to being a part of a community of people that care deeply for one another and we've begun to build rich relationships that go beyond surface level talk of weather and sports.  As this has happened, I've also seen the impact it has had on my children and wife.  They've grown through their relationships with others and it's made my relationship with each of them more fulfilling and meaningful as a result.  ALL of part of God's plan in preparing us for the "Good Works" that he has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).  God can change us on His own if He chooses, but throughout the Bible, we see how God's preference is to use others and our interactions with them to develop new qualities and strengths in us that He will put to use.  I know that Nate will benefit greatly from these relationships and our community as we bring him home and introduce him to everyone and I'm excited to see how God uses him to teach each of us as well.

As I sat back in a lawn chair this weekend and watched my kids play with church friends and neighbors and listened to the laughter of people standing and sitting all around my driveway, I felt a profound sense of peace and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for showing me how truly rich He will make us as we follow His way.  I may not always have a house, a job, a car, or my health, but I have so much abundance in the friendship and love of my fellow brothers and sisters that everything else doesn't seem to matter that much.  That's the kind of priority shift that I needed and it is one that's truly transformational.

Praise God!

1 comment:

  1. Clay, this story sounds much like ours, except we aren't adopting a sweet precious little boy. I'm so excited for yall and can't wait to see what's next.