This is my last day in the decade of my 30’s. Yes, the irony or humor of turning forty on Thanksgiving is not lost on me:). I used to think 40 was so old. Silly me. In some ways, I don’t feel much older than I did when I was in my twenties. I mean, I have a more settled feeling now, and in the last year my body has reminded me I’m not twenty any more. Twelve hour shifts at the hospital leave me really tired. My feet hurt on a regular basis and I use a mountain of pillows to position myself comfortably in bed. That’s all kind of different. But me, myself–my soul doesn’t feel old.
Our pastor usually points out the significance of any numbers used in the Bible passage we are studying. God is a God of order and purpose and has significance in all that He does, even the numbers. I thought I’d look up 40 to see what meaning it has in the Bible. After reading several websites (with a grain of salt of course), the consensus seems to be that forty is the number that symbolizes a trial. It’s a number used a lot in both Old and New Testament–it rained forty days during the flood, Moses was 40 years in Egypt, 40 in Midian, and led the people in the wilderness for 40 years as well. He was on the mountain receiving the Law from God (twice). There are forty years of “probation” under trials, under enlarged dominion (David and Solomon), under prosperity (Gideon), under humiliation (under Saul and the Philistines). Jesus was tempted for forty days and seen by his disciples for forty days after his resurrection. Lots of 40’s.
SO what does this mean? Ummm…I don’t really know. Perhaps the first 40 years were probation or testing to get me ready for the next 40? Maybe. I’m sure it doesn’t mean the testing is over:). It’s certainly been a busy 40 years. I became a believer in Jesus, graduated high school and college, got married, had four kids. Walked with my husband through the trials of infertility, miscarriage, job loss.
I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin, yet less comfortable living here in this world. I have many more imperfections than I ever thought I did when I was a teenager–nothing brings those out more than having children and the Holy Spirit with a sense of humor :). I am much more aware of how little I know about anything and everything in this world. I do not have a picture perfect life–I can be grumpy, I’m rather opinionated, I struggle daily with some sort of messiness/clutter issue and I’d rather read a book or bake bread than exercise.
But I do know one thing: Jesus walks with me every step of the way. There is evidence of Him in every facet of my life and I know He will never leave me or forsake me. I know I am a vapor, and a rather messy one at that–and He loves me anyway.
My pumpkin scones are in the freezer, ready for my husband and children to bake for me in the morning. I’m anticipating many homemade cards from my sweet ones and interesting gifts from The Dollar Tree, picked out in love; breakfast in bed after a very long wait while it is prepared with lots of “shushing” and arguments and giggles (and prayers by me that is actually makes it to the bed without ending up on the hall floor). I’m looking forward to turning forty and any blessings the Lord would pour out, should He choose. I’m thankful for the first forty years I’ve had and can’t wait to see what He has planned for the next.