The Best is Yet to Come

“Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” Proverbs 16:31

I am turning 40 years old next month. For some reason, I am scared out of my mind. It just doesn’t sound young anymore. If I hear others say they are 40+, I don’t think they are old. It just sounds old for me. I believe the lie that I should be more successful or in a different place in my life than where I am now.

Our society loves youth. Youth is important in sports, in professional acting, in climbing the corporate ladder. We want to look younger, so we don’t get passed over for a career position or dumped by our significant other. The elderly are treated as a burden and put into nursing homes.

There is a lady named, Anne. She is a therapist for marriage and families. She is in her mid-seventies and still works. I came to know her because I was suffering from postpartum depression. She raised 7 children, so I knew she could help me. I came to learn that she became a therapist when she was almost 50 years old. It was after most of her children grew and the youngest was in high school. When most people are in the thick of their careers, she was just starting. She had life experiences and knowledge to offer people. It didn’t matter to me that she started later in life. She was good at what she did.

I was talking to a friend of mine and I mentioned the anxiety of turning 40. He laughed and said, “well I am 47 years old and I know that God’s best is yet to come. I feel so excited.” He went on the say that his wife (my dear friend too) told him how happy she was that he realized that it is never too late to do what God wants for him. How could I write myself off, when God hasn’t?

Maybe I feel old because I can’t go into that store Hollister. It is too dark, the perfume is overwhelming, the music is too loud and their clothes are made for people without hips. I would rather watch a sporting event at home instead of live and canceled plans feels like a gift. Even the time I eat dinner at a restaurant is considered the early bird time, it is okay. The main thing to realize is that life is far from done at 40. The best is yet to come and God is not done with me.

Lesson Learned: Welcoming age with wisdom is more valuable than chasing youth.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of life. Forgive me for always comparing myself to others and being disappointed. Show me Lord, what you have for me. Remind me that age is just a number and that you can use me at any age. Help me prioritize my time better and to focus on what you want me to do. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Faith in the hope that it will get better

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Anxiety is exhausting for both mind and body. I am getting tired of dealing with it. Most of my days are good, but every once in a while a day feels like it won’t end. I had one of those days last week.

This particular day there was a message left by a person that was threatening to sue our company. Of course, it was an empty threat and he was just annoyed we sent him (along with many real estate agents) a marketing letter.  Also, my co-worker wanted me to see her new electric car. I get motion sickness quickly and those cars seem to bring it on. I only wanted to see it not drive in it.  I about peed my pants, when she started the car.  I said, “sorry but not today.” In my head, it sounded calm but I could see her looking at me like I was crazy. I opened the door and acted like I was interested in the rest of the car, when I was actually looking for an escape route. We ended up back in the office. I could feel the panic coming. I finished up work and left for the day.

I could not shake the feeling, I had this heaviness on my chest and this feeling of being on alert. I was attending a prophesy workshop with another church. I knew God wanted me there and I was determined to go. I cried the whole drive down there. I fought my way through the feelings in the beginning of class. But I ran outside because it was coming back again. If you are going to have a panic attack, the best place is to have it where people can pray strongly against it.

I was so embarrassed and felt guilt that I still have these moments of sheer panic, where there isn’t a situation that it is warranted. Before I got prayer from these wonderful people, I received a text message from a dear friend about the feelings I had. This was her text message:

Hang in there! The day is going to come soon when

you won’t keep feeling this way and

you will be used to help show others the way out, too.

Just hold on to that hope. It will happen.

Whether it is in that second or in the distant future, I need to realize that it will happen! I have more better and calmer days than I used to have. I never got diagnosed as a child, but I have had this since I was a child because I recognized how much I have always worried about everything!

But God has carried me and brought me people to settle me down when those times seem out of control. No matter what I have trouble with in life, God’s full victory for me will finally be received.

Lesson Learned: No matter how long it takes, I will overcome!

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your protection over my emotions. I pray that your word be in my heart and mind, so I can remember what is true and noble. Thank you that victory over struggles in my life and near and equip me Holy Spirit for discernment. I pray that this mess become a message to share for others to hear that are in need of your love forgiveness and grace. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

When the odds are against you, don’t give up

But you, take courage! Don’t let your hands be weak for your work shall be rewarded.”

2 Chronicles 15:7

I love a good comeback. I am sure most share in that sentiment. My favorite sports team, The Los Angeles Kings, had an amazing playoff run in 2014, where they did just that, they made a come back. In three of the four rounds played for the Stanley Cup Championship, they were facing elimination. Yet, they came back and won the whole thing. They never gave up.

I have this memory in Elementary School of it happening to me. But I was on the losing end of it. I was a play leader in 6th grade. This is where, I got to watch and help the kids in 2nd grade during recess time. During one of the kickball games, I kicked the ball way over all of the kids heads. I jogged around the bases, because there was no way, anyone of the kids would catch me. At some point, I even walked. I was almost at home base, when I saw the little boy right behind me and he tagged me out. I was stunned, as were all of the players in the game. I was so embarrassed. I denied it happened, as any prideful 6th grader would. But he said, “I got you out fairly.” He sure did.

Maybe God was teaching me a lesson about being cocky. But I appreciated this little boy’s tenacity to not give up. Even when it seemed impossible for him to catch me, he decided he would still try for it anyways. There are many times in my life, where I gave up so easily because I was scared or didn’t want to fail. If God has the plan for me to succeed, it will happen. But even if I am unclear if I will succeed, I need to still try for it. In the trying, it can: teach me a new skill or patience, meet new people and maybe even make new friends, and definitely learn a few lessons in the process.

Lesson Learned: Always try for it, no matter if I don’t succeed.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to keep trying when I feel like giving up. Guide me Lord when I am in the middle of the storm. Instill in me the will to pursue. Thank you for your protection and wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

It is never too late

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21

I love being in church when there is an altar call. When I hear the pastor acknowledge a person accepting Christ, I am filled with joy. Another soul saved. Most times leading a person to Christ is never that easy. We ask people if they have been saved and it becomes an argument about religion and hypocrisy.

My grandpa was an agnostic. He came to America from escaping Germany at age 4 during the World War I and ultimately settled in California. The only time he seemed to have any sort of religion in his life was because of his wife, my grandma. He went along with the Jewish religion because of her roots, but never committed to anything. When his son (who is my father) became a Christian, my grandfather was skeptical. We would invite him to church and he would go, but mainly to have lunch with us afterwards. I remember him questioning everything he heard in the sermon. This happened over the next 15 years.

My grandpa said he wanted to live forever. He was healthy, both body and mind. He took care of himself by eating right and exercising every day. He could out walk anybody. However, Grandpa seemed scared to die because he was unsure of his eternity. My dad would ask him every once in a while if he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart but he would say no. When my grandpa turned 92, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. He didn’t want to eat and stopped exercising. I remember, he called our home crying because he was so scared of how he was feeling. We took him to the hospital and it was decided he needed round the clock care.

My dad went to visit him often. The facility was telling my dad, the end was coming soon for his dad’s life. My dad took the opportunity to talk to him about giving his life to Christ. He told my grandpa, “You have lived a full life. But you can make it complete and give your heart to the Lord.” My grandpa finally said yes to Jesus! He was 93 years old. He died a few days later.

It is truly never to late. But we cannot take up the burden if our friends or family members do not accept Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that changes the hearts of people. We need to continue the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). We be the example, the hands and feet of Jesus. We live our lives so others see Christ.

Please do not be discouraged when people we love, live their lives in the world. Keep planting seeds and love them continually. You just never know when or how someone will give their life to Christ. But celebrate and praise the Lord, when they do!

Lesson Learned: Keep planting the love of God into others and await the change of the heart, no matter how little or long it takes.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for every soul that isn’t saved. Show me who needs to experience God’s love and forgiveness. Help me give encouragement and continue the ministry of reconciliation. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”