Today is my birthday. My sister-in-law sent me a "Happy 21st Birthday" text this morning, and it hit me that 21 was half a lifetime ago. Yes, I'm 42 today. It sounds strange to hear those words coming from my mouth (or, in this case, my fingers). When I was 21, I pictured my life at 42 much differently. And I'm thankful - so thankful - that my plans didn't prevail.
I started this day like any other, alone with my Jesus. But today was different, powerful. My very own birthday gift from my Abba. He used my Bible reading in Numbers (I'm a little behind) and my study of Hebrews to speak into my soul:
But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it. - Numbers 14:24 (ESV)
Oh! I want to have a different spirit! I want to follow God fully! I want to enter the Promised Land that He has for me, so that CJ and her children will possess it. I want it to be said of me that I was faithful.
After I prayed for these things, I went on to my study of Hebrews. And what did I find there?
What kind of faith is necessary to have real rest in this life? Faith that trusts God wholeheartedly with our lives, faith that leaves behind the desert existence of expecting this world to meet our needs, faith that moves forward with God into the life He is holding out for us.
Suddenly it hit me that I've been living in the desert, only I didn't see it. I thought I was in the Promised Land because it looked pretty good. The security, the affirmations, the stuff...all a deceptively beautiful mirage; something I wanted so badly that I imagined it for myself. But today, Jesus calls me to live differently and to be different, to quit building castles out of desert sand, to refuse to settle for a mirage because He wants to deliver the real thing.
It's the best birthday gift I've ever received.
I'm glad you stopped by to share my birthday with me! What words spoke to you this week? Share the direct link below.