I apologize for the crickets that have taken up residence around here lately. For a while there was nothing new to share and when there was, I didn’t have a lot of time to share it. You may notice I finally have a title. Just an explanation of that here and then I have several posts in line after this to give some history about how I got here, tell a little about my most recent trip to Kenya and then to let you know where I’m headed in the next few months. Check in over the next few weeks.
I have spent the last few months reading the Old Testament. Oddly enough, some of my favorite sections happen when authors are describing characters at their deaths. Some people die badly in the Bible (like sword stuck in your gut and the smell is so bad your servants think you’re using the restroom – badly). Those are not the scenes I am talking about. The eulogies that stir me are of men who are known and loved deeply by the Lord, screw up in some of the worst ways imaginable or walk through terrible tragedies and yet continue to find refuge in His faithfulness and unfailing love in all of those circumstances. Abraham, Isaac, David and Job (among others) reach the end of their lives and are described as “old and full of days.” I do not know if there is any significance to this phrase in the Hebrew beyond an indicator of age or if it’s just a quirk that it was translated that way in the ESV, but it catches my attention every time. After reading the stories of these lives, I have to think that “full of days” carries some weight. It makes me think of the feeling you have after a really good meal – having tasted good food and being satisfied, left wanting nothing more (think Psalm 63:5). These men could recount hundreds of stories of God’s faithfulness during their days. Of course, their satisfaction was made complete in their death as they met the One they hungered for face to face, but they knew enough of Him in this life to proclaim, like David, that their souls were satisfied even here. I want my life to be described like that when I die, even if “old” is not a part of the equation.
Psalm 139 says that my days were numbered and written long before I was even born. I trust that no matter if I live to be 40 or 95 or do not see my next birthday that my life can never be cut short. It will be exactly as long as the Lord says it will be. The number of days I will have is not for me to decide, but I want to know Jesus in such a way that when I come to die, my soul will be satisfied, full of days, because I have taken every chance to know Him that He puts in front of me.
Right now, my pursuit of knowing Him looks like the obedience of taking a step He’s been preparing me for for who knows how long. The reaction I have heard most often when people find out I’m moving to Kenya has been “Wow! That’s great. I could never do that.” My response is usually “Yes, you can,” because – I’ll let you in on a little secret – there’s absolutely, positively nothing special about me. God did not look down one day and decide that I have the kind of faith and off-the-charts skill that He needs in Kenya. God does not need me. His call to me in this season is not based on the fact that I have something that He could not get somewhere else. This call is about His Kingdom and His name being known to the ends of the earth. It is about the whole point of everything – that He would be shown, honored and enjoyed as the most valuable thing ever in the history of ever. So does He need me? No. But, is He willing to use a weak, broken, busted up vessel to show how great and worthy and powerful He is? YES! Praise the Lord, yes! This is a gift. Next to my salvation, it is the best gift I have ever been given. Jesus is letting me play a part. He could do this without any help from me, but has determined that He gets more glory and I get more joy by my jumping in. I do not deserve this and, if I’m honest, it has been far too easy to complain about what I think I lack lately. But when I really get to the bottom of this, I can see Him working out what is best for me. And here’s the great part – this is His gift to every single one of His children (meaning YOU if you love and trust Jesus). Not everyone moves from their home, but everyone has the chance and call to be a part. Have you ever asked the Lord where your part is to play? I choose to receive this gift (joyfully, giddy and in a you’re-really-letting-me-in-on-this? kind of way) and I am confident that when I am full of days I will be able to say, along with David, that the Lord is faithful and I am satisfied.