“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. David, Psalm 52:8 NIV
Flourishing. Man I love that word. When I think of flourishing, my heart feels lighter. I feel energized. I feel hopeful. I feel passion. I feel more alive.
But flourishing doesn’t mean that life is perfect. Flourishing doesn’t mean that you are perfect. Flourishing doesn’t mean suffering disappears.
From my vantage point, flourishing means that you are gradually becoming more and more alive in God…as you go through all that God allows or brings your way.
The pursuit of flourishing is about gradually embracing a particular paradigm of looking at your life and calling. When that paradigm shapes more and more of how you engage your life, I believe it enables you to have the greatest chance at:
- becoming all you are called to be,
- doing all that you are called to do,
- and building the kinds of relationships that bring the greatest joy and happiness that life can offer.
For those reasons, I say: Flourishing is a Big Deal.
While I can’t fully flesh out flourishing here, let me hit some of the highlights of what flourishing looks like, perhaps to increase your desire to pursue enjoy the good that pursuing flourishing brings
The Emotional Side of Flourishing
When we are flourishing emotionally, we are becoming more secure and grounded in the love of God more and more of the time. We experience his peace and his joy on deeper levels more frequently. And when we experience hardship or loss, we lean into the Lord and are transparent with Him and safe others in order to eventually experience real comfort, which then leads to greater internal stability.
The Physical side of Flourishing
When we are flourishing physically, we are getting better and better, over time, at making better choices about how we sleep, how we eat, and how we exercise. We recover more quickly from times of indulgence, and are more gracious with ourselves about getting back on track.
The Vocational Side of Flourishing
This part of flourishing can be so rich. As we are flourishing vocationally we are using our gifts in more and more substantial ways. We are experiencing the joy of growing in mastery in using our gifts. And we are seeing the Lord use those gifts to bring about good in ways that fill our souls like few things can. This doesn’t mean there are times of difficulty or trial, It means that as we flourish, we still are finding ways to use our gifts and are maturing emotionally and spiritually through the trials.
The Relational Side of Flourishing
This part of flourishing can be even richer. As we flourish, we become better and better at loving well. We become more thoughtful, more compassionate, and more gracious. And yet our compassion and tenderness are balanced by a redemptive strength and skill in confronting, that enables us to truly bring grace and truth to our most important relationships. This means we are getting better and better at giving and receiving love, which fills up our souls better than anything else.
The Spiritual Side of Flourishing
The ultimate realities of flourishing happen in and through our relationship with God. God of course is the ultimate source of joy and wisdom and happiness, and as our lives become more and more connected with his, we gradually experience more of his remarkably filling goodness.
As we learn to lean into him with greater skill during times of joy and times of sadness, during times of trial and times of rest, and during times of warfare and times of peace, that peace and joy I mentioned earlier grow richer and richer.
Flourishing is ultimately about becoming more and more alive in God.
Of course there’s a lot more to be said about flourishing. There are certainly verses that will be added to flesh out flourishing from a biblical standpoint, including John 10:10.
My wish for you as you read the above is that it will increase your thirst to enjoy more and more of your life in God. And, somehow to have an even greater faith that he can bring peace and hope in areas that you never imagined he could.
Blessings on your journey and may God draw you further into his good dreams.
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