Soul Searching and Abundance

Sometimes it's more painful to see the toxic mold that clings to the cellulose of my heart than the stachybotrys that lies behind a wall.

As we trudge along in the brutal summer heat, and as I ponder the reality that our road is a long one, filled with seemingly endless obstacles, I am reminded that health issues don't exclude me from the reality of my human, aching, selfish heart.

Tragedy doesn't entitle me to wallow in self-pity. Financial loss doesn't allow me to demand that the world revolve around me.

I am compelled to look at myself in the mirror. I must continue to discover what it means to love those who don't understand. Do good to those who judge and speak harshly.

If I give in to the voice of despair that knocks at my door daily, or allow my heart to shrink in the face of continuing challenges, then toxic mold will have won.

And I refuse to allow a parasitic poison to have the ultimate victory over my life.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10)

Chris had a book idea several years ago. Long before we ever heard the term "toxic mold." He found the idea just this week as he perused old files and notes. The idea? A book about adversity. And abundance.

Here are his notes:

I would first define abundance. It’s not material possessions or a big house, but contentment of the soul. Then, in each chapter, we’d look at Biblical characters who faced adversity (Joseph, Job, Paul), and compare those with modern-day believers who have had their teeth kicked in by life or the church or both.

The basis for the book is Psalm 66:8-12:

Praise our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.

For you, O God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.

You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.

You let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.

Abundance comes from the Latin word abundare, which means overflowing. More specifically, undare means to rise in waves.

As the waves of adversity continue to beat against the windows of our souls and I accept the reality that our weary bodies may never fully recover, I set my sights on a place where darkened hearts are made clean, prison doors are opened, and burdens are lifted.

A place of abundance.

I can't wait.