So this is 40.
This week I hit a landmark. I have spent the past few months really considering what it means to me to become a quadragenarian and what the number 40 might represent in my life.
I am not sure if I began to see it because I was looking, but suddenly this number popped up all over my world.
I heard it in a number of sermons and messages. In my bible study time I saw it over and over.
I have realized that this number has significance in the scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments.
It rained on Noah for 40 days and 40 nights.
40 chapters in the book of Exodus.
Moses spent 40 days on the mountain.
Spies spent 40 days in the Promised Land.
The Israelites spent 40 years in the desert.
Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days after his baptism.
Jesus appeared to the people for 40 days between resurrection and ascension.
Most scholars agree that biblically, 40 signifies a time of testing, trial and probation.
40 is significant.
In a culture that values youth, especially in women, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of feeling “old and insignificant” as I turn this corner of time.
And honestly, my body sometimes feels like it’s nudging me to slow down, relax and take it easy.
But I feel like God is just starting something completely new in my life.
Like I have spent the past 40 years just getting my feet under me.
NOW.. I am not in the decline of life, NO.
I am just starting to take off.
I have gone through trials. Testing. Refining.
I have gone through probation.
And now I feel like I am finally being released.
I know who I am. (Mostly…)
I know what I dream to do.
I know how I want to live.
I am more confident in my calling.
I am passionate about running my race well.
Will I do it perfectly? Heck no.
But I am ok with that.
I believe that the next 40 years of my life will be filled with so much more.
More of letting my faith be bigger than my fears.
More obedience to Jesus.
More relationship building.
More scripture and study.
Because I finally feel like I am able to get out of my own way.
My life verse has been Psalm 40.
It was given to me as a young teen (before I knew Jesus!) and it has continued to speak to me in deeper ways over the past 25 years.
And honestly, it only occurred to me this morning the significance of the number…
It has been telling me my whole life who I am and what my story is/will be.
1 I waited and waited and waited some more,
patiently, knowing God would come through for me.
Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry.
2 He stooped down to lift me out of danger
from the desolate pit I was in,
out of the muddy mess I had fallen into.
Now he’s lifted me up into a firm, secure place
and steadied me while I walk along his ascending path.
3 A new song for a new day rises up in me
every time I think about how he breaks through for me!
Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until
everyone hears how God has set me free.
Many will see his miracles;
they’ll stand in awe of God and fall in love with him!
4 Blessing after blessing comes to those who love and trust the Lord.
They will not fall away,
for they refuse to listen to the lies of the proud.
5 O Lord, our God, no one can compare with you.
Such wonderful works and miracles are all found with you!
And you think of us all the time
with your countless expressions of love—
far exceeding our expectations!
6 It’s not sacrifices that really move your heart.
Burnt offerings, sin offerings—that’s not what brings you joy.
But when you open my ears and speak deeply to me,
I become your willing servant, your prisoner of love for life.[a]
7 So I said, “Here I am! I’m coming to you as a sacrifice,[b]
for in the prophetic scrolls of your book
you have written about me.
8 I delight to fulfill your will, my God,
for your living words are written upon the pages of my heart.”
9 I tell everyone everywhere the truth of your righteousness.
And you know I haven’t held back in telling the message to all.
10 I don’t keep it a secret or hide the truth.
I preach of your faithfulness and kindness,
proclaiming your extravagant love to the largest crowd I can find!
11 So Lord, don’t hold back your love or withhold
your tender mercies from me.
Keep me in your truth and let your compassion overflow to me
no matter what I face.
I am so excited to continue living this out. To continue praising Jesus and allowing his amazing love and mercy follow me as I follow Him. I will spend my life preaching of His faithfulness and kindness. I will not hold back!
Here are a few amazing links to check out.