I used a kid-sized shovel to carve the number 40 into the sand. As I finished, I looked up to see dark storm clouds on the horizon. Despite the storm looming ahead, the sun’s rays made their way through the clouds above me and the way they caused the wet sand to sparkle was nothing short of spectacular. It was an absolutely beautiful sight.
As I stood there in awe of the paradoxical beauty around me, I thought about my impending 40th birthday, I thought back to all the storms that came through in my thirties. Storms I never saw coming. Storms I wasn’t sure I would survive. Storms that ultimately brought SO MUCH GOOD.
I didn’t see them coming, but God did. I didn’t think I would survive them, but He knew I would not only survive, but emerge a better person. I could not see the good, but He is always good.
Just like the sun on the sand, His light shone through – in the midst of the storms, in the midst of the indescribable pain, in the midst of the darkness. His light shone through it all. I can say with absolute confidence that I would not be the person I am today without the trials I have had to walk through.
I do not know what storms I will face in my forties. I do know there will be some. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us life will not be easy. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I know I will survive the storms that are to come and I know God will use it all for good.
So, here I am leaping expectantly into my forties. I am excited to see what God is going to do. I go in knowing I am better than I was in my thirties, yet not as good as I will be when it is all said and done. I fought hard to be here in this place. Friends, it is such a good place to be. It is exceedingly, abundantly, immeasurably more than I ever imagined. May God be glorified in it all.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21