Have you ever thought about,I mean really thought about,how much of this life you are actually living?

Sometimes I think we get so caught up in careers,societal ills,and just the fast pace of it all that we find ourselves going through the motions of life,but not really living life.

This thought has been brought home to me this past week in a major and tragic way.This past Monday we received the news that Wendy,my wife’s best friend of more than thirty years,had passed away sometime in the early Monday morning hours at home.

Wendy was one of those unassuming people that the majority of people would likely never notice,preferring instead to stay in the background and not draw attention to herself as she went about loving and serving the Lord.

Yet Wendy had a quality about her that I suppose I never gave much thought to,and that was her way of always trying to encourage others.Even when she wasn’t feeling well she still wanted everyone elses needs taken care of before her own.She was a living example of what Paul talks about here:

3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.    Phl 2:3-4 KJV

Maybe I should back up a moment and give you just a little background about this remarkable woman.Fifteen years ago she was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery along with chemo and the usual assortment of other treatments to try to stem this disease.Unfortunately,one of the side effects of all of this was that her heart was severely damaged in the process.

So for the next fifteen years she soldiered on continuing to work full time as an RN and helping to raise her six beautiful children.In and out of the hospital her faith never wavered.And neither did her zest for life,to live her life to the fullest.

Neither did she stop trying to be a source of encouragement to anyone who might need it.

She was determined to life each day as if it might be her last,and as I sat there today listening to her Pastor talk about her life it suddenly dawned on me that this woman has lived several lifetimes in her short fifty years.She crowded as much as she could into every day both before and after she became ill.

Just listening to her children talk about their Mother with such love and respect reminded me that this is how it’s supposed to be.This is a real family.I’m sure there were times when dysfunction was the rule of the day,but they were a family that all could aspire to be like.Every one of her six children spoke about how their Mom took them to church and what an example of a Christian Mom she had been to them.Simply AMAZING!

I was also forced to come to grips with the fact that I don’t think I ever took Wendy seriously.I mean,I knew she was a Christian and that she loved the Lord,but I never really knew how deep her walk was with the Lord.To me she was just Wendy,my wife’s best friend that she would talk with on the phone for seemingly hours at a time.In actuality she was a strong woman of faith who sincerely believed what she read in the bible.So much so that she passed those same convictions on to her children,who will in turn teach their children.

Funny how some of us think we get to the point that we somehow breath a little different air just because we have been called to a certain work. Just because we see what we call a bit of success in the ministry. Funny how we forget to live life while consumed with that work.

Just a few weeks ago Wendy called from the hospital to ask for prayer and I prayed with her over the phone.In just a couple of days she was released from the hospital and I expected her to continue to gain strength and energy,in fact I was believing God for her complete healing.Little did I know that it would come on Monday morning this past week.

I suppose I could write a whole series of posts about Wendy just from the countless stories I have heard from my wife.But this post isn’t so much about her as it is this promise given to us by the Lord Jesus:

10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly.     John 10:10 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Abundant life. A rich life. A life lived to the fullest. A Christian life. Our life.

Jesus said that He had come not only to give us life,but to give us a abundant life. A life overflowing with grace and love. A life filled with laughter and joy. A life that in spite of its struggles is the only life worth living.

Wendy lived that abundant life. We can all live that abundant life. It’s found only in Christ.

Have you found it?

Love………..Live………… Dream………….Soar…………Live life to the fullest………..