Today marks the 61st year that I’ve been given on this fine planet earth. Yet it is not the most significant of birth days. There is another.
Thirty eight years ago, by the grace and goodness of God, Christ lovingly called me to be his disciple and enter into a thrilling, everlasting adventure with him. Looking back on my days before Christ I see only rubbish and ruin. I say this not because there were no “good” days or “goodness,” but because they were primarily and intentionally motivated out of love for self and I was moved by my nerve endings or my psyche to determine what was best and beautiful. I did not have eyes to see nor ears to hear the true, the good, and the beautiful that God had in store for me.
Looking at my days since Christ I see only hope and an abiding joy that the Gospel brings. Truth be told, it’s not always been a walk in the park, yet each difficulty has been filled with a deep sense of conviction that there is a purpose and a point in all things. ALL things. By grace and because of grace, I have never questioned God’s existence nor his goodness in everything. Though I have struggled to understand how this or that event, or difficulty, or relationship could possibly be good, I have never questioned that it is good in the end. God’s love shown to me at the cross and his precision in orchestrating every detail in this universe makes that conviction sure. With Paul the Apostle I can say without equivocation: “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)
In my reminiscence I’m also reminded of Philippians 3:7-12 where the Apostle reflects on his own past and exclaims the riches of his future:
But whatever things were gain to me those things I count as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
This is my future and I press on toward the glorious hope that the Gospel brings!