Thirty (30)

It is true that today I turned 3 decades . . sort of.  Depending on how you count my time on earth, I could already be considered 30 + about 9 months.  🙂

However you figure it, I’m older than I have mostly ever wanted to be.  I wasn’t much into turning older on birthdays after my 21st . . for many reasons . .

one was that I simply didn’t want to become old (a common goal)

. . another that I didn’t want to outlive my dreams . .

nor did I want to lose the youthful beauty I think most of us girls long to have & to hold . .

But here I am, at 30.  Perhaps 1/3 of my life here is already gone.  If I live to be only as old as my father, over 1/2 of my life is already over.  I’ve taught 2nd grade, and I know in the fraction world of circles or squares, a half is a scary-big chunk of the whole.  And who’s to say I will live even that long?

And not only this, but the rest of the chunk of my life–however big that slice–isn’t promising to be good by anything I can muster.

My life is complicated: I find myself on the hard-gravel ground of disappointment.  When I look at my failures compared to my successes, I could pull out my hair.  Much of the time I trip, trip, and fall more than I even walk, much less run, toward what I most want.

Truth be told, I often do not feel confident I know what I’m doing.  At times I lose battles to intense anxiety and bouts of depression at, of course, inopportune times.  I struggle to cope with my own faults, and many times I feel downright detestable.

And that’s me, at 30.

But now let me tell the same story in another way:

It is true that today I turned 3 decades . . sort of.  But, however you count it, in the realm of Heaven, I haven’t even lived 1/100th of my life.  Not even 1/1000th.  Not even 1,000,000,000th.  Because of the righteousness of Christ, I will live forever.  And ever.  And 30 years is not so long in the sand timer of eternity.

I’m older than I have mostly ever wanted to be.  I wasn’t much into turning older on birthdays after my 21st.  One reason was that I simply didn’t want to become old . . but now that Christ has torn a gaping hole into the flat picture of my mortality–a wide, wide hole for me to escape right through–that problem is solved.

I didn’t want to outlive my dreams . . but my daydreams have changed, and my achievement in life is now based on the merits of Christ, not my own.  I can no longer outlive the plan for my life, because the plan for my life is no longer time-sensitive but instead eternally minded.

When I was 21, didn’t want to lose the youthful beauty I think most of us girls long to have & to hold, but now I’ve seen real beauty, and I can tell you it has nothing to do with being 21.  If you want to find out what beauty looks like, stand at the foot of the cross and look up.

Here I am, at 30.  About 4 years ago, I decided to yield my heart to Christ, and the last 4 years of my life have held more meaning than the first 26 put together.

I didn’t instantly become perfect (as anyone who sees me on any basis whatsoever knows) . . but I instantly gained His perfection.  All my fears didn’t run and hide . . but they will someday.  I don’t have it all figured out . . but I know the Master Planner who works despite the evil we’ve invited into His world, and I trust Him.

My life is still complicated, but at times, I glimpse the unspeakable simplicity of the freedom I have in Christ: He stood in for me at the cross.

When I still find myself on the ground of hard-gravel ground of disappointment, the hope I have in Christ is an earthquake on the Richter scale of 100 and KABLOOEYS my disappointment into smithereens.

When I look at my failures compared to my successes, I could pull out my hair, and that’s why it’s much more productive for me to spend my time looking at Christ’s track record.  He lived a perfect life because He knew I couldn’t; now I can be free from the bondage of always being imperfect and never measuring up.  His record is my record; my record is now perfect; I can live in His perfection with a whole new outlook on everything.

Much of the time, I trip, trip, and fall more than I walk, much less run, toward what I most want.  But, by the grace of God, I do get a few sprints in now and again.  And when I’m not graceful, and I land on my face, Christ is always there to pick me up.  When I am limping, He lets me lean on Him.  And when I can’t walk; He carries me.

I often do not feel confident I know what I’m doing, so I’m so thankful He knows what He’s doing.  At times I still lose battles to intense anxiety and bouts of depression at, of course, inopportune times, but He’s at the end of the WAR on sin and the Curse and He’s the victor.

I struggle to cope with my own faults, and many times I feel downright detestable . . but He hasn’t given up on me yet.

Even though I’m not an asset to Him . . even though I don’t profit Him anything but what He Himself gave to me . . even though He has no need for me . . even though He has every reason to hate me . . even though there’s nothing about me that could invite Him to take an interest in me . . even though there’s nothing in it for Him to become my friend that He couldn’t have equally well without me . . still, by His nature–by the very nature of who He is–He seeks me, for my sake.  For 30 years He has had His eye out for me; for 30 years He has loved me; and for 30 years He has given me the next heartbeat, the next breath, the next grace of another moment.

Since I am with Him, 30 is just the first 3-0.  Next up: 300.  Then 3,000.  Then 30,000.  Then 300,000.  Then 3,000,0000, and eternity is just beginning, and I will still be getting to know my Christ . .

I told you I would tell you the story another way.

Christ is the Way.

And He makes all the difference.

“I am the Way,” replied Jesus, “and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, Weymouth NT)

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Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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