Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” NIV
Before writing this devotion, I had imagined 2011 to be the year I would look upon with dread and dismay, certainly not joy. The reason being is that this fall I will be turning forty years old. Forty had always been the magic number I had set aside for myself somewhere far into the future, the year I imagined I would finally have to grow up, become a true adult, and start the slow plunge toward growing old. Somewhere along the way though, forty began to take on a special meaning for me. About a year and a half ago I found out my very best friend had breast cancer. She had been diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, an aggressive kind of cancer that required her to undergo surgery, followed by a round of chemotherapy, then radiation. I remember upon receiving the news from her, going straight to my computer, and as many of us are prone to do, doing a search on this strange combination of words. The phrase “potential to spread” left me numb and a fear like no other held me captive in my seat. That couldn’t be possible, my friends and I were way too young to be given a diagnosis like that. Right? I then started thinking about the other people in my life who had lost their battle with cancer at a young age, and all the ones who were currently fighting this hateful disease. It made me realize right then that I should embrace my humanity and not rebel against it.
Who am I to worry about what age I’m going to be anyway? Just like the Apostle James says, “You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14 NET) Indeed, I need to place my thoughts on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8) otherwise I will find myself spending unnecessary time worrying about things that bear little or no importance to the entire scheme of my life.
Today, the thought of turning forty doesn’t seem quite so bad anymore. When I think about turning forty now, I think about how this Wednesday that precious best friend of mine will also be celebrating her fortieth birthday. I think about one more late night phone call, one more attack of laughter over absolutely nothing at all, one more chance to act silly and not care who sees us, one more long lunch date, one more spur of the moment concert, and one more time to eat all the cookies we want. All that forty represents to me now is life, second chances, and the knowledge of how blessed we are to truly be loved by God. Our lives are fully in the hands of the One and Only and He will be the only One who has the final say on how long we have on this earth. Until then, enjoy life, have no regrets, keep Him first, and never lose sight of how blessed you are to be alive, no matter what age you are.
Please pray with me:
Sometimes we pick the silliest things to worry about, but when it comes to our lives we are blessed beyond measure. I thank You for the little things that give me so much joy, and the ability for second chances.
In Your name I pray, Amen