So, I’m turning 40 tomorrow, and I’m not going to lie and say that I have not been struggling with it. I could act like so many other people I see, proudly striding into 40, but the truth of it is, I don’t feel 40. I don’t feel like I’ve done enough to be a 40 year old. What utter rubbish! How should a 40 year old feel? What should I have accomplished by this milestone? This one birthday with all of it’s “significance” has had me emotionally off kilter. So this morning, sitting with God, I simply asked: “Father, am I where I am meant to be?” And the answer He brought was “Yes!”
You see, the enemy can lie to us about who we are and where we find ourselves. When we look on social media at other people’s lives and success, we can start to feel that we are totally out of time and start to feel like we are “behind”. Maya (my wife) and I don’t have kids yet, despite years of trying. We don’t have everything figured out in our lives either. But we love Jesus. And maybe that is the most significant realisation I take into my 40’s: I need to stop asking: “Where should I have been by 40?” but rather ask “Where would I have been without Him?” If I know whose I am (I am a child of God), and I know in whom I am (I am in Christ), then the world’s definition of who I “should” be and of what “successes” I should have achieved mean very little. But if I can look my Father in the eye and hear Him say: “You are exactly where I want you in this season!”, then I can walk briskly and proudly into 40 with a smile on my face. And you know what, if I’m not where I am supposed to be, then it’s never too late for Him to reroute me.
Proverbs 16:9 says: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” When I used to think about what 40 would be like, I would never have imagined myself where I am now. But I look at my life: I have a beautiful wife, who after 8.7 years of marriage still makes my heart beat a little faster. We live in a lovely home. We have a handful of great friends in our life. We have enough to get by. I have a job I love. I love my Church. I love the community of people in it. And God uses me to change lives every so often. I am blessed at 40!
So, to close, maybe the thing we all need to practise as we find ourselves saying the words: “I am not where the world says I should be!” is thankfulness. If you are feeling that you don’t measure up in the world’s eyes, for the next few days, sit with God and ask Him to start revealing the blessings you are surrounded by. Simply ask Him the question: “Father, am I where you want me in this season?” The answer may surprise you…