Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Recently I’ve noticed a new television commercial where adults over the age of 50 are telling viewers what they want to do when they grow up. I’ve thought about it. Here’s my ‘When I grow up’ list:
When I grow up, I want to see others living my dream (you know, the one I’m not living yet, the one I’m waiting to live myself), and not be even a tiny bit envious of their success. I want to be able to immediately get excited and overjoyed for them when I see doors I want to walk through opening for them and opportunities flowing into their lives. ( Even as I whined out that sentence, I remembered all of the opportunities that Almighty God has already afforded me.) I want to immediately put my foot on the enemy’s head and squash any envious suggestion he tries to place in my mind by throwing up my shield of faith in God’s Word and His promises. I want to relax, knowing that He is a promise-keeper, working everything out for my good.
When I grow up, I want to walk daily in the security that comes through knowing that God has not forgotten me. I want to be worry-free, knowing that His favor has no limits and He’s watching over me (for He is watching over me ALWAYS!). Therefore, at the right time, in the correct season, my door will open, yes, my chance will come. More than that, I want to keep in mind that the Creator gets to use HIS creation however He sees fit. We are all vessels of love, instruments in the Creator’s hands. He knows what He created me to do and has it laid out in the Book of Life.
In other words, God is teaching me that growing up is all about getting my thinking in order.
That’s right, when I grow up, I will remember that it’s not about me anyway, but all about Jesus Christ. My mind will be clear. My heart will be calm. My understanding will be greater, and I will walk in the Spirit; knowing that I am on the same team with every Christian brother and sister God elevates. Yes, when I am a little more mature, I will not forget so easily that every Christian’s success is my success, because we are linked together, through Christ’s blood and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in our hearts.
Yes, I will finally realize that whatever God has purposed in His will for my life is all I can handle for that season of my life. Further, if I just concentrate on doing my best with the portion He has assigned to me, then He will count me among the faithful. He said that if I am faithful over a few things, He will make me ruler over many. In other words, He will expand my territory, elevate me, give me more responsibility in the Kingdom and use me to accomplish more for HIS glory.
In my spirit, I still feel like a youngster, although I know I am in my fifties. I look around me and see all of the young people. It makes me happy to see another generation so passionate about loving God. Then I’m reminded of my age, and it seems as though time is moving so steadily that perhaps I won’t be able to accomplish all of my heart’s desires.
For a moment, fear sets in.
I know this is a trick of the enemy. I calm down my heart and tell myself that if my plans are God’s plans, there is enough time to accomplish what He wants me to do. He has written in His Book of Life all of my days, and He will bring each to pass.
I just want to accomplish everything that He wants me to do.
And so I have to continue to, you know, grow up…
This, of course, is a good thing; really a great thing. It just doesn’t feel like it sometimes. But that’s alright too. Sometimes when I think that I have one battle licked and I’ve grown up in that area, God reveals to me that I still have a little more growing up to do or that there is another part of my life He wants to wash with His love and cleansing power. That’s right. I have more growing to do.
You know something? It’s very difficult to admit one’s shortcomings. However, I’m learning that when I do so, then I am admitting that I recognize that there is an area of my life that’s in need of God’s divine touch. This is as it should be.
Why? Because God wants me to be like Christ. Yes, He wants me to grow up, to mature in Him, so that I am not easily swayed by the enemy or the world, or anything that goes against the standards He has set forth in His Word.
I’m confessing to you my friend that I am not perfect, and God has much to still work on. The fabulous consequence of all of this is that I am learning to humble myself before God, so that He may change my heart, change my thinking, and change my behavior. Growing up is tough, but doable. More than that, it’s necessary if I want to please my Heavenly Father. And I do want to please Him.
I hope that you do too!
I know that my struggles may not be your struggles. Perhaps the monsters of ‘fear’, ‘jealousy,’ and ‘envy’ never rear their ugly heads in your heart. If one does, though, remember that Jesus died on the cross even for that. Further, if you confess your sins, He is faithful to forgive you of them and cleanse you, removing them as far away from you as the east is from the west.
I’m growing up. I know that you are too… one step at a time, one day at a time, one circumstance at a time, and one test at a time. May you have a victorious day! Enjoy your journey!
Until next time…