His for 40, His Forever

Can it really be 40 years ago today that I bowed my blond curls in my grandmother’s bedroom, to ask for forgiveness and receive God’s gift of salvation? My Mom, at that time, was my current age. Wow. And I was nearly four. Here’s a rare picture from that time (a bit younger). And it looks like someone is immensely enjoying a popsicle!

As a kid, life seemed endless. I was excited about life and dreams! But, at some point I realized that I needed something much more than yummy popsicles to satisfy me.

Jesus is the only One who can do that.

People try pleasure, money, education, career advancement, sports, or even service. But, nothing gives peace like what the Prince of Peace offers. [You can read more about my salvation experience here.]

Now that I’m halfway down the path of life, I mentally check off the decades and gasp in shock that it’s gone so quickly. (They said it would. They were right.) On this momentous day I have mixed feelings: gratitude and guilt.

Shouldn’t I be more involved, more spiritual, more verses memorized, exude stronger faith, have led more people to the Lord, be a better wife and mother, and be completely over my insecurities by now?

One of my favorite verses is Philippians 1:6 –

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

I’m not in this on my own. He takes personal responsibility for my growth and has an incredible way of teaching me to see things His way. All of my sins are forgiven, and He remembers I am dust. Even the women mentioned as faithful in Scripture went through a process of becoming who God wanted them to be. And best of all, He used them in the middle of their mess!

Does that mean I can just be a lazy Christian? No. Sometimes I am. Sometimes I’m not. Generally I am heading the right direction with God. He never lets me get too far away. I want to grow more and do as much as I can for His glory for the rest of my life!!! Not because it will make Him love me more, but because I love Him more and more.

When I was newly married, I was in a Bible study with two women in my church. One with a rough history bemoaned one day, “I wish I were more godly!” The older sister said, “But, what is godly?” She went on to explain that it isn’t based on what we’ve done or haven’t done in the past.

We are godly because God chose us, paid for our sin at Calvary, and declares us righteous. Then God patiently moves us to greater obedience, more durable faith, and a deeper knowledge of His love.

Godliness is what happens when God redeems a person who then learns to depend on Him, having a childlike faith, an eye on eternity, a teachable spirit, and a humble desire to reflect Christ, not self, to the world.

We are not in a competition against our sisters in Christ. We are all running the race God has given to us. Sometimes that involves the thrill of a successful ladies retreat presentation, and other times it is soothing a sick child and being exhausted out of your mind. Or, in my case today, it is all-out-war, taking back my kitchen from a very unwelcome mouse!! Not glamorous, but God is with me. And each of these experiences are part of His plan to grow and stretch me into a more useful vessel for Him.

Surrounded by God’s grace, and enjoying an occasional popsicle, I move forward with God to the next forty years and beyond. I rededicate my life to His service, thanking Him with everything that is in me for including me in His life and plan. It is an honor to live in Him, with Him, and for Him!!

If you are searching for true peace today, I’d love to introduce you to my Savior. I will close now with verses that beautifully sum up my humbled, grateful heart and my deepest desires. To God be all the glory! Great things He has done!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.  For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:12-14, 19-21 NKJV



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