The other day I turned 42 years old. I’ve been thinking about these past 42 years for the past few days. For some, making it to 42 isn’t a big deal. It’s just another birthday and another year. The day I turned 42 was seemingly special day for me. It’s special because I’m still here, I’m still alive. While today, at this point in my life I feel the same as Paul “to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” 2 Corinthians 5:8 and that makes me think about Philippines 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” But it hasn’t always been that way. I had never envisioned myself living past the age of 35. I’m not sure why 35 was the age I chose but it was. And I ran hard and fast doing just about everything I could to make sure that happened. Toby Mac sums it up in his newest song “Love Broke Through” with the verse “I did all I could to undo me but You loved me enough to pursue me”. I may have given up on myself and in turn tried to destroy myself, but God never did and God never will give up on me. I have learned that it was me that gave up on Him; I abandoned Him. And because He loves me so much He let me. I have learned that God will not force people to make the right choices, it is up to us to do that.
So all that being said, this birthday was special for me. Looking back at where I was to where I am now, it couldn’t have been done without God. And to be honest, if I wouldn’t have committed my life to Jesus almost 4 years ago, odds are I would be dead or back in prison for this day. I still have moments, to be completely honest, where the devil comes at me hard. It’s usually when I am least expecting it that the enemy tries to remind me of the person I was. Sometimes it’s so real and almost overwhelming that it sort of takes my breath away and fear tries to creep in. All I can do in those moments is lean on Jesus and the Scripture verses that the Holy Spirit brings to my mind.
I had a conversation with someone the other day and they complimented me on the man that I am now. I didn’t know how to take it; while it was nice to hear the enemy attacked at the same time. All I could think about was “who the Son sets free is free indeed.” John 8:36. Compliments are a tough thing for me to receive. I have no problem giving them, but receiving them is another story. Maybe it’s to keep me humble, to remind me that it’s only through Jesus.
It’s not as easy to follow Jesus for some. I know for me it is a battle often; a battle that I must prepare for and be ready for at all times. Sometimes I don’t do very well but I must continue on learning from the mistakes and growing daily in Christ.
Thank you Jesus for saving me from myself. Thank you Jesus for the renewing of my mind, thoughts and habits. Thank you for blessing me with Christina my amazing wife and partner in this journey.
As the battles come, because they will come, we must remember to keep moving forward. No matter if we win the battle or not we must stay in pursuit of Jesus.
We are always here and available if you need help or guidance. Be blessed and remember that our strength as Christ followers comes from Jesus not ourselves.
In Christ alone