Which would you choose? This question came to me this morning as I was watching the Today show they were talking about eating to have a longer life. This struck me because I have been reading 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp and she talks about living a full life. She contemplates dying and when we actually get to that point, are we going to feel full or empty? I really loved how she put it. Now when I see something about living a long life I wonder which would really be the best? In my own opinion I think living the full life long would be the ultimate life but if I had to choose I would want the full life. If life was empty, then a long empty life would just be miserable.
You may want to know what a full life looks like. As Jesus said, He came to give us life to the full. I have really meditated on that verse in the past and now Ann has revealed the key to unlocking the full life. It’s gratitude for everything you love. It’s not just feeling the gratitude but writing them down. Writing them down gives the moment a space, a sacred space that is a gift from God. This is what Ann talks about in her book. She says writing them down is the actual receiving of the gifts. She emphasizes to carry a little notebook with you which causes you to be aware of life happening and write them down as you go. I started this today and already have over 30 gifts! She says we hurry through life and miss the small stuff which is really the big stuff. We don’t pay attention to what really matters and to what is right in front of us. God is in every moment if we will just recognize Him there. When we do this we are living each moment to it’s fullest. We have given the moment a name, we have made the space in the moment holy. This is all God wants, communion with us and this is how we do it. God’s presence is the answer to all our longings, all our emptiness. Instead of filling the gaps with “things” we need to fill the gaps with thankfulness and recognize the gifts God is continually giving.
I know myself that I have lived some empty life. I can’t get it back but I can vow today to live a full life. I refuse to get to my dying day and wish I had lived more fully. This is the answer to not being afraid to die. When you know without a doubt you lived fully in God’s presence, you know without a doubt you will live in His full presence in eternity.
My focus today is about “filling up” instead of “giving up”. To be thankful for everything. Today I read a story of a girl at Lent “giving up” sweets and what she learned from it. Something I have also been learning the past few days. That Jesus really can “fill” the hollow spots in our hearts. I have had a great joy in focusing on Lent. I so loved Advent that I couldn’t wait for Lent. It gives me a sense of purpose, meaning, something to look forward to. It changes something inside of me. I see things different and life feels different. It’s like a fog is lifting. I decided to not “give up” something but to “add” something. Although I guess I am giving up time to do it but what I am learning is faithfulness. Not self control as in giving up something. This time I am spending with God and Jesus is being used to “fill me” with the Holy Spirit, therefore, leaving no hollow spots in my heart.
Trail to the Tree to day is talking about the cure for discontentment. She cites the scripture about Moses making a copper snake so when the people got bitten all they had to do was look at the one he had made and they would live. God sent snakes because they were complaining and were discontent with what God was doing. But they repented and He made a way to save them. Just like He sent Jesus. If we choose to repent and look to Jesus we are saved also. ” Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.” Numbers 21:8. Whoever is bitten by sin ( everyone has ) and looks to Jesus, will live.
The best cure for discontent is the filling of the Holy Spirit, looking to Jesus, letting Him fill your hollow heart. Pray for Jesus to come fill you. Instead of being discontent or worried, pray. Be grateful for what God has given already. Remember God’s goodness from times before and know God is good ALL THE TIME!
Day 1- Get your thinking straight and be in God’s presence
Day 2- Be reading the Bible and trust God
Day 3- Reverence, worship and praise God and Jesus for who God is and what Jesus has done.
Day 4- Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful to fill you. Look to Jesus with gratitude and prayer.