Abundant living isn’t reflected by the size of a monetary account, but by a reservoir of living authentically, with encouraging spiritual companions that hear the voice of one’s soul. It comes from listening to the longings divinely placed within, and only after resting in being, sharing out of being, without a mental effort of striving… living genuinely at a peaceful state and pace.
Abundant living comes from a beautiful place of being and then only doing from a rested place of being. It seems we often pine to become something while doing, trying to attain being “someone”. Ironically, the authenticity to begin fully living is realizing that the thirst of the soul may come in the mode of desires and longings feeling arid or parched.
It takes time, silence, solitude, and rest for refreshment of the soul, one that becomes satiated in a place of allowing times of quietness and trust to become a strength.
The Hebrew Scriptures speak of having a well-watered soul in Isaiah 58, verse 11, recognizing that it is also a portion of an if/then clause.
The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
The context of the Hebrew is looking at the soul, nap-se-ka. Jeremiah 31:12 reads “and their soul shall be as a watered garden”. The Hebrew root here for watered, ravah – means to be saturated, drink one’s fill, to be satiated or soaked.
In hot climates, where showers seldom fall except for the rainy seasons, there is a striking difference in a garden that is well-watered and one arid with dry parched ground without blooms or fruit. So it is the same with us. A well-watered soul has both fruit and flowers to share in dry seasons.
Bernard of Clarivaux, an 11th Century a French abbot describes a well-watered soul like this:
“The man who is wise, therefore, will see his life more like a reservoir than a canal. The canal simultaneously pours out what it receives: the reservoir retains the water until it is filled, then discharges the overflow without loss to itself… There are many in the church who act like canals, the reservoirs are far too rare … You too must learn to await the fullness before pouring out your gifts, do not try to be more generous than God.”
This seems to resonate with the words of Jesus in principle found in the greatest two new covenant commandments, when we are satiated in our relationship with God, we may more accurately love from the overflow of reservoir to others, our loving comes from being loved; watering and encouraging others from the heart and soul and not living from the surface of merely living by the thoughts of the mind.
“‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart,
all your soul,
all your strength,
and all your mind.’
And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Luke 10:27
Well-watered relates to the state of our souls – arid or nourished. The beauty of living abundantly is when the soul is satiated and both the heart and mind live in authentic unity walking in one’s purpose, fulfilling the longings within, uniquely placed by God.
For reflection, while quiet, acknowledge God’s Nearness and ponder these questions on the state of your soul:
Does it feel arid or saturated?
Do you feel as if you are going through motions of life or are present?
Are you tending to your own basic need of sleep, movement, and nourishment?
Are your relationships less than intentional?
Do you feel the least bit isolated without safe relationships who understand and you are able to confide?
Do you feel as if you are embracing or resisting God’s unconditional love in this season?
Living in abundance, with a satiated soul is serving and giving to others from a rested place. Sometimes a response of “no” to live with margin is a very sacred word.
May your soul be as a well-watered garden, restoring strength, and being an ever-living stream.