A Call to Life
A devotional written by Paula Moldenhauer
“I came that they might have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” ~John 10:10 AMP
Life and death are only a split second apart. These words were spoken this January 1 by my husband from his hospital bed in ICU.
I nearly lost my husband.
There is no exaggeration in that statement. The main artery to the heart, the “widow maker,” was ninety-nine percent closed. As the ambulance blared its way to the hospital, everything was fading to black. He prayed, “Lord, if You’re taking me now, please be with Paula and the children. It’s going to be very hard on them.”
Instead of that final covering of darkness, he heard the EMT yelling, “Jerry! Stay with me.”
Modern medicine intervened.
Today Jerry sits across the room from me in our home office. The days spent at the hospital are already fading into memory. Now we live.
I like how our opening passage reads in the New Living Translation. “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
When you think about that word “life,” is there anything more satisfying than our God? Doesn’t the richest, fullest life begin and end in Jesus?
Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that He is life saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (NIV).
I understood Jesus as the way when I was about seven. I heard that to live with God forever, you had to accept Jesus as Savior, so I did.
I’ve known Him as the truth since my early 30’s. Before then "truth" was a tiny set of doctrine that was exclusive to my particular brand of religion. Jesus did away with that kind of thinking, showing me that He is Truth with a capital T. That simple, but profound understanding took my life to a whole new level of living. I quit focusing on a “small truth” to-do list and began focusing on Jesus. It changed everything.
I experienced Jesus as the life.
When Jesus is our life, relationship with Him becomes integral to who we are and everything we experience. As we surrender to Jesus as our life, He ushers us into a grand adventure of relationship with Him, astounding self-discovery, and living as His beloved.
Jesus wants to give us the most robust life possible, the life only He offers. Jesus didn’t only come as the entrance into a relationship with God (the way). Nor did He only come as the One who sets us free by love (the truth), but He also came as the One who becomes our all (the life). This life that He is offers a doorway into new, abundant living. Jesus came that we could have life and have it to the full (NIV).
I’ve only dipped my big toe in the ocean of life in Him. Much of it has been crazy-wonderful. Some of it is breathtakingly scary! He’s taught me much that changed the trajectory of my life and the life I give to my family. He’s given me adventure and courage and unconditional, joyful love. Still, that rich, satisfying relationship with Him as my life doesn’t mean everything has been easy.
Maybe you’re thinking your day doesn’t feel rich, satisfying, full, or abundant. I get it. I mean hospitals and near-death experiences aren’t exactly fun. The first day home from the hospital I felt like Jell-O. It was amazing how exhausting the four days were from the heart attack to Jerry’s return home. But even those days of ambulances, stents, and heart monitors were about life.
A life possible only because God ordained it.
It doesn’t take a heart attack to know that God is the sustainer of life, but a near-death experience certainly brings it to the front of our thinking. My friend, you and I (and my husband) are here because God chose us to live, to experience life with Him. The Amplified version of John 10:10 says he wants us to have and enjoy life. Let’s pause and ask Him to help us receive life as He wants to give it.
This is my prayer for you: Jesus, please help me to discover You as my very life, a life grounded in love. I want to enjoy this gift of life that You’ve given, even on the hard days. Draw me closer to You that I may release my burdens and walk with You in a trusting and joyful, relationship. Show me who You really are and how to live in abundance and satisfaction.
Author, speaker, and mom of four, Paula Moldenhauer encourages others to live free to flourish. She shares this message when speaking at women’s events, and it permeates her written work.
Paula has published over 300 times in non-fiction markets and has a devotional book series, Soul Scents. Her first published novella, You’re a Charmer Mr. Grinch, was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards, and she now has six published works of fiction. Her most recent release is included in A Bouquet of Brides.
Paula and her husband, Jerry, are adjusting to a sometimes-empty nest in Colorado. They treasure time with their growing family of adult children, spouses, and spouses-to-be. Paula loves peppermint ice cream, going barefoot, and adventuring with friends. Visit her at www.paulamoldenhauer.com.