Thursday, October 01, 2015

I am only 50- Assign me the Hill Country

Joshua 14:10 So nowlookthe Lord has preserved my life, just as he promised,these past forty-five years since the Lord spoke these words to Mosesduring which Israel traveled through the wildernessNow lookI am today eighty-five years old. 11 Today I am still as strong as when Moses sent me outI can fight and go about my daily activities with the same energy I had then. 

Half a century ago my mom Sarah struggled through a really long labor in a hospital in West Allis, Wisconsin and my walk on this earth began. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

I must say it out loud, I am 50. There, that wasn't so bad. Its an odd thing to say. Its days like today where men sometimes reflect over their lives, take stock, remember, regret, laugh, smile, cry. Some men I talk to think that its the beginning of the end. 

As I've approached this day I've thought much about being 50. In my mind I've compared myself to my dad and my grandfather when they were 50. Have I measured up to the examples set before me? I suppose these things are not for me to decide. That question will be answered by others. 

I reflect back on what I've seen these last 50 years. My world has changed from one of blissful isolation in a small southern town riding bikes and playing in the woods with my little brother and our neighborhood friends.... to a world that is connected in seconds by fiber optics..... as someone from England or China will be able to read this as soon as I hit the "publish" button.

I think on the places I've been. I've walked and seen the tallest mountains in the world. I've had my feet in the pristine rivers of Alaska. Seen sunsets over the pacific. Enjoyed lightning bugs in my own back yard. 

I've experienced the sad reality of war first hand far from my home. I've been patriotic and disillusioned at times. 

I've buried heroes and I have heroes for friends. 

I've watched my two children grow from toddlers to teenagers. I had the privilege of seeing them both come to faith in the Savior Jesus. They will be change agents!

I've known the love of a good woman and she is more valuable than precious jewels. 

I am 50

I think about Caleb in his statement from the book of Joshua above. Its one of my favorites. "Today I am as strong as when Moses sent me out." At 85 he said this! 

But the coolest part about what Caleb had to say, was his mission request. At 85 no one would have slighted him if he had asked for some bottom land next to the river. At 85 and after the life he lived, surely an easy retirement was in order....relax big guy, enjoy it for a while before you die. 

But Caleb wouldn't have it that way. He said in verse 12 Nowassign me this hill country which the Lord promised me at that time! No doubt you heard at that time that the Anakites live therein largefortified cities. 

Assign me the hill country...where the giants live. 

That's bold. That's audacious. I think I'd like some of that. Caleb despite the number of his years was placing his life in the hands of the God of all years. And He was determined to trust the God who had been unswerving and faithful. It was logical. God has promised...I will follow. 

So today isn't a lament for turning 50, today is a day to say "I'm only 50....Lord, assign me some hill country" 

Save the toughest mission for last. 

I feel as strong as I did 21 years ago when the Lord opened up the Gospel of Jesus to me through the radio in my car. When He rescued me from my pit and set my feet on a solid rock.  He has preserved me all these years. I am ready for the next 50 years and yes I am ready for tomorrow. There is much to do. 

My long rest will come when the Kingdom of God and the King Himself return in full force. 
Until then there are missions to do 
There are people to encourage
There is darkness that needs light
There are the lost that need to be found
There is truth to be declared
There is a faithful God to follow

None of that is done on the porch 

I am only 50- Assign me the hill country

The songs of life- Thanks to mom

My home was filled with music and people growing up. Mom loved music and can play an assortment of instruments but her favorites are th...