Live Life to the Full Now
By Laura Bagby
- Ah, it's a picture-perfect life…
You graduate from high school and then go to college where you discover
your life's purpose and you date eligible men. Soon after college graduation,
you marry the love of your life. You start a successful career, which brings
you a sense of accomplishment. Because of your amazing earning power, you
are able to move into that beautiful home with the white picket fence. While
still young, you start a family and enjoy the blessings of motherhood. Finally,
as you age gracefully, you reap the benefits of raising loving children and
grandchildren and of money well invested…
Maybe this has been your experience. Then again, maybe your "American Dream"
experience has proved to be elusive at best.
Maybe you are stuck in a dead-end job while all those around you are experiencing
satisfying careers. Maybe you are an older, single woman waiting for Mr. Right
while others younger than are experiencing marital bliss. Perhaps you have
had difficulty starting a family when all your friends are having their second
or third child.
Whatever the case, when you are waiting for God to fulfill your deepest desires,
you can feel barren, stuck, and unable to move ahead; that is, if you let
your expectations or others expectations of when and how things should happen
rule your life.
It is my belief now, after having had many pity parties over being single
and awaiting a blossoming career, that it isn't what you do or don't have
that ultimately makes you happy or unhappy. It is how you approach those "barren"
times that is the key to living a full life.
Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full"
(John 10:10b, NIV). He didn't say life starts only after you get married,
or when you finally get pregnant, or when you are healed, or when you land
your dream job. No, you can live life to the full now.
Hear me on this one: You are not bound by your circumstances. You can let
circumstances keep you bound, causing you to wallow in self pity or to blame
others for your ill fate, but ultimately you don't have to answer to your
circumstances, because they don't define who you are or what you will become.
Your success or failure does not depend on where you are in life right now.
You are God's child, and in Him your future is guaranteed to be bright.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." That's the
good news we learn from Jeremiah 29:11.
But often, we deceive ourselves into believing that God has better plans
for others than He has for us, that He is blessing others more than He is
If we let our minds follow this line of fallacious reasoning, we can become
envious of the circumstances, social status, possessions, or talents of another.
This is what the Bible considers "coveting," and it is the quickest way to
ruin the work of God in your life.
While we are obsessing about what others have, we inevitably see the lack
in our own lives. This makes us dissatisfied. Our jealousy leads to arguments,
which will cause rifts in our relationships with others. Eventually, our covetous
nature will poison our relationship with the Lord as we start to blame Him
for our circumstances.
Did you know that when you accuse the Lord of not giving you what you want
while you see others getting it, you are cursing the Lord and denying that
all good and perfect gifts come from God (see James 1:17)?
But we don't see it this way. We continue to justify our behavior by reminding
the Lord that we deserve to be happy and that we are only asking what others
already have. Is it too much to ask the Lord to give us the same as others?
That kind of attitude will get us nowhere. God will not honor any requests
made in selfishness and bitterness. He cannot, because He is holy and He is
continually in the business of making you and I holy. And being holy means
that He must wrench out those filthy motives. We must have clean hearts and
hands before Him.
Don't get into the habit of comparing yourself with someone else. For one,
it's sin. As it says in 2 Corinthians 10:12, "We do not dare to classify or
compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves
by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise."
We are therefore fools if we keep on measuring ourselves with those around
Second, who said you had to have the same timetable as someone else? "Well,
so-and-so got married at 21, so I should, too," we reason. But the truth is
that we each have our own timetables. In fact, as Christians, we are under
God's timetable. We have inherited His day planner.
For some of you, this perspective on time may be frustrating, because God's
timing often seems so slow, but I say it is one of the most freeing truths
out there. The fact that I am not bound by time, that I am not bound by my
own self-impinging deadlines is truly life changing. Knowing that my life
is in His hands means I can concentrate less on checking boxes off my own
checklist and let Him worry about it. I can take the focus off of myself,
because I am not the ultimate ruler of my own destiny.
God says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you
in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). For some of us, that is a tough lesson.
But when we focus on what we have rather than what we don't have or what others
have, we experience joy and peace in knowing that God has provided greatly
for us already.
We need not fear that God has forgotten us, because we can see His proven
track record of faithfulness. And we need not worry that life is passing us
by, because when we are in Christ, time and purpose are in God's hands.
When we focus on what He has done, we are focusing on Him. And when we set
our minds on Him and choose to delight ourselves in the Lord, guess what He
will do for us? He will give us the desires of our heart! (Check out Psalm
What does delight in Him mean? It means we can't be wasting our time arguing
and complaining. It means we can't waste time striving to meet our own timetable.
It means we can't waste time wishing we had what others have. All of those
ways of thinking and acting will keep us in the wilderness, emotionally bankrupt
and spiritually dry.
The way out of our barren moments is to enjoy the Lord right where we are.
You can bloom where you are planted. Give it to the Lord. Maybe it's not
your season for marriage. Then it is a season for personal growth. It may
not be your season for child-rearing, but it may be your season to reach out
to your community. The key is not to waste those precious years where you
can have a positive influence on others and be blessed in return.
Life doesn't start at 20 or 30 or 40. Life starts today. And when you mess
up or miss the mark or find yourself in disappointing circumstances, you can
rest in the mercies of the Lord, which are new every day, and look to Him
with a thankful heart as you move through your own seasons of life.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
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Are you facing a difficult situation?
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