What thoughts fill your mind when you think of that word? - - The God of the universe is an abundant life giving Creator. He did not send his beloved, only begotten, Son so that one can be comfortable. We might think that comfort or complacency is not the opposite of thriving. But I believe those found with that opinion would be wrong. Comfort and complacency are merely the slowing of our pace in the race of life. As our stride shortens, our breath grows less labored, and we grow comfortable with where we find ourself, we are no longer thriving. We have begun the initial stages of decay and death.
There is an inherit joy when we observe things thriving. The ends of our mouth curl towards a smile when we see a once drooping plant raise its buds skyward, send out its vining tendrils. Our hearts find pleasure as the once lame sickly child is strengthened and delighting in the warmth of the sun, playing. God has created us to thrive. Sin does just the opposite. It promises succulent fruit but it always leaves us spiting out its sour residue. The Christian, one who is a new creation in Christ, is not merely being created to grow but is spurred to thrive in Christ.
Do not be content with complacency. Those who lean in hard on the infinite God of the universe will find the grace to not just survive...but to thrive. Even in the desert landscape of life we will thrive, if our roots reach down to the never ending wellspring of life.
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
it shall blossom abundantly
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God...
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
For waters break forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool,
and the thirsty ground springs of water;
in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
the grass shall become reeds and rushes...
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain gladness and joy,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
~Isaiah 35:1-2, 5-7, 10~