Monday, October 5, 2009

A Gift Like No Other

Today I turn thirty-two, although I don’t feel thirty-two. I don’t even feel thirty. Although, these days when I look in the mirror, I don’t see the silly young girl that once stared back at me ten years ago. She has been replaced with a woman who stands firm in her beliefs, in her life, and in her faith. There is still a twinkle in the eye and the mouth is still upturned ready to smile without cause. But now there are lines that weren’t there before, a steadfastness that couldn’t be seen, and a hope that has been borne of trials. She is the same but is somehow different. Those that knew her then would never recognize her now and that’s probably the biggest blessing I could ask for.

I don’t put much stock in age; to me it’s the counting of the years of your life. I don’t believe it’s a status symbol or a sign of how mature you are. To me, it’s the number of years I have lived on this earth; it marks the passing of time. What I think matters more is not the number of years spent living, but rather, the manner in which those years have been spent. This past weekend during worship at church, I had the chance to reflect on where I have been—the disaster of a life I came from and where I am now—a life living solely for Jesus. I even took a glimpse of the future—an eternity that Jesus put in my heart on the day He formed it.

As my heart stepped into that special time with Him, I was once again crying out for all of the glory of my life to be to Him alone for He is the one that saved me. I still remember when I first cried out and begged for Him to take my life and let it be all for Him and for His glory, for it to be His life not mine. I knew from that moment that I was made to worship Him. I knew that the reason He gave me breath was to praise His name all of my days. I offered my life that I may continually shout and sing the praises of my King. This weekend as I pondered my life I remembered how lost I had been before He sought me. I was unhappy, unsatisfied, and unfulfilled. I was living for all of the wrong things and couldn’t figure out why nothing ever seemed to fill the void in my life. As those memories came back, I raised my hands and praised God for His faithful and long suffering love that waited for me. I praised God that I am different than I used to be, because He made me different. Christ’s love and sacrifice was able to change this sinner’s path from one of damnation to one of eternity.

I realized that no matter how far I had come I would always need Him, every day, every hour, sometimes, every minute. We all do. There is not a time that we can live without His guidance. The minute we think we can, we are doomed to failure. I cried out to Him to never leave me, because if I took my gaze off of Him, just as Peter did on the sea, I would sink (Matthew 14:29-31). As worship came to an end, I was once again reassured that His amazing grace is such a sweet sound, His amazing love will always flow down. I know that His hands and feet that had been nailed to a tree had allowed His grace to pour down and cover me and my sins.

It was the best birthday present I could have asked for; a sacred moment between the Creator and His creation where He assured me that I had a purpose and it was a big one. Any pains, trials, frustrations, I have felt have had a purpose, to draw me closer to Him. The heartache this life sometimes brings is to assure me that in the midst of those times, I always have arms to run to that are secure and loving because they made me, they know me, and they love me.

So, today I turn thirty-two and I’m great with that. I don’t feel thirty-two, I’m often told I don’t look like I’m thirty-two and I certainly know that I don’t act like I am thirty-two. But what matters to me about this day is that God in His infinite wisdom knit me together fearfully and wonderfully while still in my mother’s womb(Psalm 139:13-14). More important than that is that Christ in His passion and love came to this earth to die for me, because He knew I needed a Savior. The sum of my years doesn’t equal much, but the sum of the desires of my heart to love and follow God equal eternity with Him and that is a gift like no other.

Thank You Lord for special moments where You call my attention towards heaven and towards You. Thank You for making this life that belongs to You, this heart that loves You, and this soul that You call Your own.