A few weeks back as the year started out, I preached at Denen on the topic of change and 2 Corinthians 5:17. And the biggest change for me occurred a few days later on January 18. I officially joined the “40's club.”
I used to think that 40 year-olds were wise and seasoned in life. But when I look at myself I realize that assumption was misguided. I’d love to say that after 40 years of wanderings I’m finally ready to enter the promised land. But the truth is that after 40 years I still have a way to go toward spiritual maturity. Weaknesses I see in me haven’t gone away. I’ve made progress, but not as dramatically or as quickly as I’d like. It would be easy to get discouraged, give up and say, “Well, that’s how I’ll always be.” But the Bible holds out a different option. God is always doing something new. So change is always possible. Not because of me, but because of Him.
I'm grateful for a Savior that loves me as I am, and yet moves me toward growth. I'm also grateful for church family that makes the journey fun. As I gave the announcements this past Sunday, the lights suddenly went out. A lighted cake (yep, 40 candles) was wheeled into the room. And the congregation broke into a strain of "Happy Birthday," Japanese style. I suspected something was in the works by the suspicious grins on their faces earlier. Thank you, Lord, for 40 years with you. Thanks for giving Christian friends and family to journey together with.