The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10
“As soon as we pay off our student loans, then we can really enjoy life.”
“As soon as my son passes the ‘terrible twos’ and stops throwing tantrums over dinner, we’ll be in good shape.”
“As soon as I learn how to master every chore in the most efficient way possible, then I can really relax on weekends.”
These are just a handful of “if, then” statements I’ve muttered to myself over the past few years. There are plenty more, but they are all essentially the same in that they don’t allow me to experience joy until certain stars align. I get myself so focused on the THEN, that I feel like I can’t possibly enjoy the NOW.
I was thinking about that this week as I was preparing the discussion for our monthly small group and the above scripture jumped out at me. It is Jesus speaking and, in most teachings, the “thief” he refers to Satan. And certainly I think this still applies. But there are plenty of other thieves that Satan employs in our lives that come to kill and destroy the abundant life that God has promised:
- work stress
- financial woes
- health issues
- mean people
- and many more.
The thing about that scripture is that there isn’t a waiting period. It’s not like, “As soon as Lindsay gets back from vacation, then the thief will steal her joy with a pile of demanding emails.” Or, “As soon as Lindsay’s paid off all her student loans, then the thief will attack her with a four-digit hospital bill.” The thief doesn’t play that game.
But thankfully, neither does the Savior. He doesn’t say in that verse, “As soon as Lindsay goes on vacation, then I will give her an abundant life.” Or “As soon as Lindsay can figure out how to tithe on the regular, then I will rain money on her head.”
It is automatic. Abundant life is automatic.
Joy is automatic.
We just have to quit waiting for it to show up.
Sure I haven’t paid off all my student loans yet; but I can afford my rent and I can buy groceries at Publix.
And sure my kid is in his terrible twos; but being his mama, I’m also his absolute #1 favorite person in the whole entire world.
And the scoreboard of my life is currently LAUNDRY-49, LINDSAY-0, but I have clothes on my back to keep me warm (regardless of their state of cleanliness and/or wrinkledness).
Joy abounds RIGHT NOW. Be glad in it.