I turned 6 yesterday.
Not in life years, of course, but in eternity. In being born-again. Growing older in eternal life, that’s an amusing concept to wrap your mind around. But somehow, as odd and strange as that sounds, it’s true.
Six years. Six years to grow in grace. Six years to walk in the Spirit. And six years, since I first met Him.
It seems so short, and yet as if I always have known Him. And yet, even the longest life, the most years, wouldn’t be enough to know Him — why, even eternity is barely enough to sing His praises.
And, oh, how young, how foolish I still am! So ensnared in my vanity, so tangled up with pride, so caught up with those idols which long ago should have died — inside of me can be a raging, chaotic turmoil of emotions and anger and impatience and fear and — and He hasn’t left. He’s still here. Why, this birthday has found me in a spiritual doldrums, with my verse memorization erratic, my Bible reading done mostly from the force of habit, and my prayer life — well, I barely have it. But He hasn’t left me. He’s still here. And even though I’m still broken over my brokenness, I can see that He has led me. He has grown me. I’m not who I once was, both as an enemy, and as a young child of God.
I’ve gone through old journals (which I now realize are immensely valuable things) and seen those snares I was tangled up in. I see how often I struggled for peace in my life, for forgiveness toward others, for love to grow up. I see the ugly, weed-infested, disastrous jungle that was me.
But when that little girl and the woman in the mirror stand face-to-face with each other, they aren’t the same. Jesus has come in, and everything has changed.
Because He has come and pruned away the branches of self, which overshadowed everything else. He has come and chopped through the vines of self-righteousness and vanity and fear which surrounded my heart. Bit by bit, little by little, by the Spirit inside me, He has transformed me more every day to be conformed to His image (Rom 8:29), that I may be like Him, when He shall appear. (1 John 3:2)
And, yes, I still struggle with some of the same things. Some of those weeds are persistent, needing constant diligence to remove them. But they are smaller. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, they grow up less often.
Because He’s still here. He hasn’t left.
And He never will.
Jesus is not something I added into my life, He not some helpful change in my life, He’s not a nice belief in my life. He is my life. All that I am, is in Him. Not that I don’t slip up, or not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect.(Phil 3:12) But through all my failures, He’s still there, and promises to forgive and cleanse me. And to make me more like Him.
And so I press on. I want to love Him better, to know Him better, to follow Him better. I want to surrender every part of me to Him; — my desires, my passions, my body, my thoughts, my words, my longings — laid bare, open to His will. Take it all Jesus, I don’t want to hold any of it back. Because Jesus only is worthy of it all.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14)
Jesus paid it all.
Perhaps younger me said it best last year: Through my struggles, my slip-up’s, my failures, He’s been there through it all, assuring me of His love for me as I am; but also of His faithfulness to change me into who He wants me to be, through it be hard sometimes. I pray that every one of these five years have been used to grow closer and closer to Jesus, and that I continue to walk in His grace and love this year, and bring more and more glory to Him!
All to Him I owe.
I don’t have the words for this. I just don’t. But, Jesus, thank you. I’m underserving, but You still love me, You still died for me. May I never lose sight of this.
Sin had left a crimson stain,
Every day, make me more like You.
He washed it white as snow.
Be glorified, O God.