What is your heart’s image of God? Do you imagine God distant or near, skimping or lavish, aloof or intimate?
I read these lines from the psalms recently and they helped shape my imagination of the God who is always with me:
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
“They” is simply all people who seek God. God is at home with abundance. We are invited to make ourselves at home in God’s abundance. The presence of God is not a place of want, but a place of plenty. It is a place of feasting. This is who God is. I have, sadly, been in the habit in the past of assuming scarcity as the basic reality of my life. I have been growing and learning to live in the light of kingdom reality more and more. It’s been good.
We also drink from a rushing river of joy and delight. A few weeks ago, I was in the Dominican Republic leading a retreat for a group of Christian leaders. We were at a different location than we’ve usually used. It was a compound right next to one of the major rivers in the county: the Yaque Del Norte.
One day, I walked down the long set of stairs to be next to the river for a while. I watched it for ten or fifteen minutes and realized just how much water was going by. That river has been flowing for a very long time, and it will still be flowing long after I have left this life. If I imagined this river in the same way I’ve sometimes imagined God, it would flow unpredictably, sometimes dry up, and at other times flow with strength. But this real river is a beautiful portrayal of the continual and strong flow of God’s grace, love and joy in our lives. God never “dries up.”
God is a spring of real life. God’s light enlightens the eyes of our hearts. God, would you please enable our eyes to see the flow of abundance that surrounds us in your presence. Grant us a vision of just how blessed we are so that we can live as a blessing to those among whom you’ve planted us.
Jesus, please enable me today to feast on abundance and resist the temptation to see my life and work through the false, grey lenses of scarcity. Show me how to drink from the roaring river of your holy delights. Show me how to lead from the place where life flows, in the light of your Presence. Enable me to enter into this beyond my capacity in the past. Amen.