Live Your Life to the Full

‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ‘ John 10:10

A while ago, while reading my morning devotional, this verse lighted up my understanding. I had read it many times, but it was until that moment that I realized something different. Today, as I read this verse, I was reminded of what I learned that day.

As Christians, we know we have an enemy who wants to keep us stuck in fear, paralyzed, making us think we don’t have what it takes. Satan is a thief, the accuser of the believers. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy your joy, dreams, and plans, so they don’t come to pass. He doesn’t know your future because he’s not Omniscient; only Almighty God is. However, he knows that there is potential God has put in you to fulfill His purpose, and that’s what Satan fears the most.

But the verse doesn’t stop there; its second part contains a message of hope. Don’t you love that word?! When there is hope, our spirit lifts, our countenance changes, our eyes shine, and we even smile. Suddenly, we have the strength to do what we need to do. We start dreaming, planning, creating.

“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus came for you to be free of bondage. God gave you gifts, abilities, passions to use in love to serve others. God wants you to use your full potential and find joy and satisfaction as you serve Him. 

He died on a cross for you and me and the whole world so that those who believe in Him shall have eternal life (John 3:16). And we find what this eternal life is about as we study the Scriptures diligently because they testify about Jesus (John 5:39).

God has a great purpose in mind for you; that’s why you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God made you unique, and He already gave you what you need for your assignment in life. Are you willing to live your life to the fullest?

Pennie has been found

watson-pennie-2011

Our family moved from Puerto Rico to Georgia in 2011. With our move, we also brought our golden retrievers, Watson and Pennie. Watson was seven years old, and Pennie was a 6-month old puppy.

On our second week in Georgia, they escaped during the night. In Puerto Rico, they were used to sleeping in the backyard, which had a large and open terrace, with roof and floor tiles. So when we moved, since it was still summer, they stayed in the backyard at night, as usual.

I heard Pennie barking and howling past midnight, but I did not hear Watson. I opened the backdoor and saw that she was all right, so I went back to bed. I did not hear her howling or barking anymore. When we woke up in the morning, I went outside to call the dogs, and to my surprise, they were not there! My husband was on a business trip, and my children were desperately looking for the dogs. Watson’s collar had a tag with our phone number, but he was not wearing it at the time; I found it thrown on the ground.

It was time to go to school, so I promised my son and daughter I would look for the dogs. I searched and searched in the nearby neighborhoods asking people if they had seen them, until I visited a veterinary clinic to check if someone had found our dogs. The receptionist grabbed a flyer and asked me “is this your dog?” A lady had found Watson and distributed flyers in different places! I was so relieved and then proceeded to ask for Pennie. The flyer only mentioned one dog. Then, I recalled her howling in the middle of the night. Watson had probably escaped first, and when she found herself alone, she went after him. I got nervous because she was just a puppy.

I called the number on the flyer and coordinated with her daughter to pick up Watson in the afternoon. I thanked them for rescuing him. On the other hand, we couldn’t find Pennie that day. My daughter was devasted. So my husband decided to put a pet amber alert. During the following days, I received different calls from people I met and from organizations, asking if I had found the puppy. I kept making phone calls and looking around.

We prayed every day for the dog to be found. One morning, before my children went to school, I recalled a similar event recorded in the Bible. Saul was looking for his father’s donkeys; this occurred before becoming the first king of Israel. At the third day, the Prophet Samuel invited him to have dinner and told him not to worry about the donkeys, which “had already been found.” You can read this story here, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/1SA.9.
So, I told my son and daughter, “We don’t know where Pennie is, but God knows.

At the sixth day, while I was doing some errands, I received a call from another veterinary clinic (I had gone to several). The lady on the phone said with an exciting voice, “your dog has been found.” Tears of excitement filled my eyes; I asked for the address and went to pick her up. Then, I immediately called my husband  to give him the good news. A mom with her three kids found Pennie on the street. They took her home and cared for her that night. At my arrival, the employees came to the front to watch the encounter. They even volunteered to take pictures, which I sent later to my husband and children.

Hope and trust in the Lord is all we need in times like these.

 

Is Sifting Necessary?

bakery baking blur close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was preparing a type of bread, and one of the steps was to sift the flour. I did not know what the purpose was, but I followed the instructions on the recipe. There were two types of flour; one was lighter than the other. While I was doing this important step, I noticed that one of them had many small particles that didn’t pass through the mesh strainer.

I recalled the words of Jesus to Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

The sifting process in our lives has a similar purpose as in baking, and that is to draw out or get rid of any lumps or particles that, if left, would make the process harder and may cause the final product not to meet the original expectation.

So, is sifting necessary? Yes! Do I enjoy it? Only when I’m baking because I know I will enjoy the texture and flavor of the combined ingredients. On the other hand, after we have passed the test, we can strength others and be ready for what God has equipped us to do.