Today, December 23, I turn 65.
I’m officially a senior citizen. I guess that means yesterday I was a junior citizen.
God has been faithful to me beyond my comprehension. At this time of year I ponder just how much God has loved me over the past six-and-a-half decades. He has extricated me from countless harmful situations in the middle of some of the worst blunders in my life. I have fallen down so many times scar tissue covers both knees. I have been unfaithful to God and others, lackadaisical in my prayer life, selfish beyond the pale, full of my own flesh, disrespectful of others, arrogant, and more.
The good news is, when I wake up tomorrow, God’s mercies will be new. He won’t remember my wrongs from yesterday. He will still be faithful, loving and kind towards me as if none of those things above ever occurred. That’s the priceless love He gives me freely every single day.
I love to think about my childhood and family life
I grew up in a small Southwest Iowa town, Shenandoah, population about 5,000. I attended one elementary school, one junior high school and one high school with about 30 or 40 of the same kids, kindergarten through high school. My mom and dad met in sixth grade, but didn’t start dating until high school. They stayed married to each other for 60 years. Both sets of grandparents lived within five miles.
I felt safe, loved, well educated and nurtured by my family, my teachers and my community. It was a wonderful childhood in a wonderful place with a wonderful family.
After high school during college I became the poster child for the prodigal son. Backsliding was not an occasional slip into sin, it became a lifestyle. I squandered more opportunities than most folks get in a lifetime. It would be almost 30 years before God would tap me on the shoulder in the middle of a driving rain. He said, “I want you to come back home now. I love you and I miss you. On that dark, rainy night I began a baby-step return to my Father.
I finally let go of self and started depending on Him to live His life in me, through me and as me. He taught me that during those rebellious years I was living in a pig sty, He still loved me.
I finally became sanctifiable, submissive, teachable, ready for Him to use me. And now He teaches me something new about Himself and myself almost every day. I still slip into sin occasionally. I still have the freedom to choose between His way and my way. Sometimes my way seems better than His. The difference is, today when my flesh (that ugly thing called “self”) creeps back into my thinker or my chooser, the Holy Spirit convicts me that my behavior is not consistent with who I am in Christ. Then He gives me the opportunity to correct my course.
It has been a wonderful life. Am I rich? Not in the material sense. Never have been. But I am rich in God’s love and I have at my disposal all the grace and mercy I will ask for from my Heavenly Father. God gave me a wonderful wife. Finally. I have two adorable, loving children (well, young adults now). I have a brand new heart (Literally. I had open heart surgery on January 26 and got a brand new valve and aorta.) and a new life. I have Christ living in me and through me to bring me bountiful blessings. And our God receives all the glory and honor.
What more could an old senior citizen want?
I’m taking a sabbatical from my blog for a few days. My Son is coming to visit from Montgomery, Alabama. He will spend Christmas weekend with us (See? What’d I tell you about blessings?). Most of our family will be here and I’m going to spend the time loving them and receiving God’s bounty.
I wish you all a Merry, Blessed, it’s-all-about Jesus Christmas. You will never know what a blessing all of you are who drop in and read these devotionals. May God richly bless you.
Would you like to know more about Jesus and the grace and salvation He offers any and everyone who will believe in Him and claim Him as Savior? God wants to bless you and show you his unconditional love. He wants you to know the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus would like to show you all His grace and mercy. If you would like to know more about Jesus, or give your life to Him, just Follow this link and discover the awesome, unconditional love He has waiting for you.
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