Since I celebrated my 50th birthday this week, I've been doing a lot of thinking about just how to handle getting this old. Over the hill, past my prime, etc. Even if a person tries to tell themselves that 50 is the new 30, there echoes in the back of their mind that feeling that makes them cringe...that perhaps they are, in fact, getting old. Funny thing is, I remember when I turned 30 feeling pretty much the same way! I even wonder does my father-in-law have those same thoughts now that he's about to turn 80.
Our society celebrates youth, that goes without saying. Even in areas of ministry, we tend to look to the next generation....those who will be the "Joshua" generation and take the promised land. While I in no way want to discount those who have not yet made the trip around the sun as many times as me, I can't help but wonder....am I done. Does God look at me and figure, "Well, she's still alive but I can't really use her for much anymore. Time to look at the next group coming up." Of course, we all know that's ridiculous...but many of us who have made the trip over 40 or 50 times still have those moments. You know the ones I'm talking about, those times when you wonder if your best years are behind you and perhaps you just never fulfilled what God had planned for your life. Those times when you wonder...am I too old to be used by God?
I've often heard that a baby is God's opinion that the world should go on. Not sure how theologically sound that is, but I do believe that every child born is born with a purpose. There are no "accidents". Each life has a purpose in God. That's what got me to thinking about those birthdays again. Perhaps, just perhaps, each passing birthday is God's way of letting us know He's not finished with us yet....He still has a work for us to do...we need to "go on". We may not have the same spring in our step that we once had, but that doesn't mean we're done. Whatever God created you to do, as long as you're still blowing out the candles on the cake, it's not over yet.
The gifts of God are without repentance....and as long as we abide on this earth, we are to use those gifts. Don't think that just because you are older that God won't still fulfill the dream...you know the one I'm talking about...the dream that He placed in your heart years ago...when you still had that spring in your step. God doesn't make mistakes....and He doesn't forget about you or that dream.
God's time table isn't the same as ours, and if you're still alive, then evidently God still has something for you to do. Though it tarries, wait for it. Let your gifts continue to grow and mature...and be used. Allow each passing birthday to serve as a reminder that God is in control and He's not finished with you yet.
For everyone, no matter when it comes, I wish you Happy Birthday! May this birthday bring you assurance that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it....and don't be afraid to continue to dream.