Wow! One half of a century is completed today. When I was 25 being fifty seemed so far away. Those 25 years seemed an eternity. Now looking ahead, being 75 seems just around the corner. I thought I might climb Kilimanjaro or visit the Holy Land for my fiftieth birthday, but COVID stopped those plans. Instead I rest in knowledge that life continues with nothing big needed to mark the passing of the years while remembering God is in control. This article from Jared Wilson titled Midlife, Christ Is puts many of my thoughts to words well. So although I cannot put becoming fifty years old into words, Wilson does it for me well.
By God’s grace, I don’t feel the need to buy a sports car or to make a career change or to blow up my marriage. But I do think a lot about the distant past and the quickly approaching future. And I don’t know how anybody handles these things without walking with Jesus.
In midlife, Christ is a consolation for all the things I wish I’d done differently. He doesn’t change my past, but he can redeem it. And I’ve discovered he is faithful to do that. He does not judge me by my actions but by his own, freely given to me in love.
In midlife, Christ is a companion through all the worries and stresses. I’ve gotten more serious about my health over the last year and a half, and while I have no illusions about having the strength and energy I did at 25, I have no doubts that my friend Jesus is as strong as he’s ever been, and wherever I have to go, I know he will go with me. There is no partner like the King of the Universe who will never leave me or forsake me.
In midlife, Christ is a constant encourager. His Spirit has been bearing fruit in my life all along, and the longer I walk with him, the further down the narrow road I wander, the sweeter I find him, and the more precious. As so much is wasting away — including myself, day by day — his renewing presence sustains me, cheers me. I cannot imagine getting old without the daily newness of his mercies.
And I can’t imagine dying without him.
Reading those words warms my heart as what Wilson writes rings true. I am thankful for God’s faithfulness to me and my family. At midlife, Christ most definitely is!
In the spirit of Eugene Peterson’s amen interpretation: “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Happy birthday, Will!! Enjoy your 50th celebration living in Kenya and continuing this spectacular adventure with God and family!
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Such wonderful words and oh so true!!! happy birthday! such adventures God takes us on that we never knew we would do!
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