Reflections from Pastor Jennifer
God loves you. He loves you. He has loved you. He will continue to love you. Remind yourself of that today.
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A Sample of Well Being
Full or Drained?
Sun orchids are a species of flower that get their name because they only open when they experience full sunlight. If you know anything about orchids, they can be one of the trickiest plants to get to flower. Conditions need to be perfectly just right. Not just sunlight but temperature, humidity, soil, and water levels all need to be looked after, but when it all comes together, the result is beautiful.
Our lives are a little bit like that too. In John 10:10, Jesus promises us life and life to the full, but so many of us spend a lot of the time feeling drained like we’re operating on empty. Rather than an open, thriving, beautiful flower soaking in the sunshine, we feel droopy and underwhelming, simply trying to get by, closed off to everything and everyone and all they have to offer. On top of that, a relationship with God, rather than being life-giving, can feel like just another drain on the limited energy and resources that we do have.
Micah 6:8 is one of the most famous verses in the Bible. It says, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” It shows God’s heart for justice and mercy and his command for us to share that heart, which has inspired many to stand up for justice and mercy, but trying to live up to such standards can feel unachievable or burdensome.
God’s command is a response to a complaint. In verses 6 and 7, increasingly exaggerated examples of sacrifices are used as an accusation that God has endless demands on His people. The claim implies that God is impossible to please. God’s response is to redirect their mindset. The complaint misses one key aspect of what God requires: that we walk with Him.
When you try and live according to high standards on your own, it feels like you carry the weight of the world. You feel like you’re never good enough. You want to curl up and hide away from all your problems. But when you are walking with God, He fills you up. He gives you the strength to live life to the full. He takes you to heights you could never have dreamed of. If you’re feeling drained, it’s a great time to stop and ask yourself whether you’re walking on your own or with God.
All this is not to say that it’s easy. Far from it. We are so good at straying off course and finding new ways to forge our own paths, but that’s what this well-being journey is all about. It’s not about getting it right all the time; it’s about always learning, always growing, and always doing our best to find our way back to God’s plan for us: to live life to the full.
As you think of trying to live life to the full, do you find this exciting, daunting, or a bit of both? How does knowing that you can rely on God’s strength change how you understand living life to the full?
Invite God to draw to your attention, by His Spirit, an area of your life where you have strayed away from Him. Ask Him to give you the strength to take one step closer to the right path in this area.