“The Lord … made the earth … He did not make it a desolate waste, but a place for people to live in”.
Isa 45:18 GNB
A tee-shirt many years ago carried the slogan, “Man alive – you’re half dead”. Probably plenty of those who walk about on the face of planet earth are just that – or at least, not really living life to the full. Time and again we come up against the question – what is the difference between existing and living?
It was no doubt a rather restricted kind of life that the Israelite exiles had to work out in Babylon. Away from home, with all the inconveniences that entailed, they lived hoping that one day they would be somewhere else. Isaiah was clearly living a highly inspired and inspiring existence, overcoming the privations by means of living close to God and engaging in teaching the people of God the exciting new things he was learning as a result of being where he was. One wonderful thing he discovered was that their God hadn’t just created their little strip of earth. He had created Babylon – and everywhere else. And he found that it was great to be alive, when being alive meant walking with and growing under God, even in exile. He had clearly come to a new appreciation of the earth and gratefully accepted that God had made it as a place favourable to human life and flourishing.
Jesus loved the earth too – often using nature as a basis for his parables. He gave us the great concept of stewardship – that humans are stewards of the earth under God. He also came to bring a greater, deeper and stronger life – abundant life he called it. Are you living the abundant life?
Lord, help me to know your quality of abundant life.