“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” –John 10:10
If we’re all honest, sometimes it feels like God doesn’t want us to have fun. I mean, when people around us are living for the moment, it sure does look appealing. And of course it’s appealing, otherwise people wouldn’t be doing it.
But then there’s this verse, John 10:10, where Jesus claims that He brings an abundant life. And John 15:7, where He tells us that if we’re truly walking with God, he’ll give us “anything we want.” And when we read that, we sit back and say… “um God, a little bit of [insert your favorite thing here] would be nice.”
So God claims that through Him, our lives can be full. That’s something that we all want; no one looks forward to being on their deathbed and realizing that their life was boring. We all want to say that we had a full life. And here comes Jesus, saying that he brings exactly what we’ve been wanting.
The difference is in how we define “full.” Full of what? Money? Pleasure? Success? I’m pretty sure that’s not what Jesus means. But these types of things are almost always what we think a “full” life is.
So what did Jesus mean when He says that he brings life to the fullest? For one, he’s talking about our eternal life, not just life on this earth. But I also think it means something for our life here as well. Think about when you meet an older person who has lived a full life. Usually what that means is that they’ve been through a lot. They’ve seen a lot of things. They’ve had experiences in their life that you can’t even begin to count.
Experiences, whether we like them or not, are the biggest thing God can give us. It’s that whole idea of giving a man a fish vs. teaching him to fish. He gives us good experiences so we have hope through the bad times. He gives us the bad experiences to make the good times that much better.
I’m not really talking about experiences like skydiving, although I’m sure that’s great. I’m talking about those unavoidable things that come along in most lives: losing a job, getting married, a heartbreak, a first child, losing a loved one, a divorce and countless other things like that. These are the things that make up the stories of our lives.
Without a relationship with God, these experiences can really mess you up–especially the bad things. They can turn you into a bitter and angry soul. But with God on your side, these things are “added to you” and you become a better and fuller person.
For me, hiking is a snippet of living of full life. Remember, life is one long hiking trip. Hike it with the KING!