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I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

For years I thought my life dream involved running through sugary sand, hand in hand with my soul mate, into a cove of turquoise water. What my spirit truly desires, though, is not the place, partner, or sensual experience, but the urgent life that lies behind the things of pleasure.

Heady electricity sparks inside each of us by way of God’s touch at creation. Whether your secret desire is an alpine meadow circled by tiger lilies, snuggling into the love of the perfect family, or skiing off a granite face into crystal powder, there is a hunger for joy that needs to be fulfilled in each of us.

The yearning I suppressed for so long, as though it was sinful, is actually holy. God put my desire in me. He is a passionate God, and, by creating me in his image, he forged passion into me. 

Then Satan came along to poison the wine. First, he laced it with the lie that created things satisfy. When I discovered they don’t, he tried a second lie. He said, “Passion itself is corrupt.” The antitoxin for his lies is that God gave me passion, and only God can fulfill my passion.

God is not prim church ladies scolding children for their noisy laughter. God’s hand is not full of repression and rules. God is life—throbbing, shocking, deluging life. Regardless of the unique shape of the passion planted in my heart, only Jesus brings me to satisfaction.

It’s heartbreaking that most humans forfeit total life. They don’t have enough passion to stretch after it. I often think I, too, will give up my banquet of joy for the crumbs of earth. Then, I lift my gaze to the One who went before me. I see how he ran toward the sacrifice of this life to gain the joy to come. And I think, maybe, I too, can make it to real life.

Prayer: Passionate Jesus, lead the way to abundant life.