I am the third oldest member of my church. That’s quite the dubious honor, isn’t it? I know this fact is true not because my church is small, but because it’s a college church and we don’t have many members over 40. That’s why my husband and I are seen as part of the few, the proud, the wise over forties. It’s a little funny, really. Well, anyway, recently I was asked to come and speak at a WSU/UI Freshman meeting. I stood there and looked out at that group of 100+ freshmen and actually at that moment I truly did feel wise.
I realized in that instant how much life had changed since I sat in their place. I was struck, really, with what had happened in the 30 years since I’d been a freshman. I remembered worshiping God with all my heart, hands raised, a passionate 18 year old. I remember promising Him my life-- anything He wanted was His. I also remember my expectations of how amazing and wonderful life was going to be.
Honestly, my life turned out a lot differently than I thought it would in just about every way. It’s been harder than I imagined, and the trials have been greater than I expected when I was looking towards a shiny, problem free future.
However, as I stood before the students, the thing I couldn’t help feeling was grateful. Because in those 30 years that were sometimes hard and sometimes confusing and always different than I pictured, I had come to know God. And I know Him in a depth and a reality that I could never have imagined at 18. I have learned the reality behind the verses in my Bible. I have lived and found God to be my refuge. I know that He is faithful. I have felt His love and His healing and His compassion. I’ve seen Him work wonders and transform lives. And it is for that one reason alone that I wouldn’t trade my place with theirs for all the world. If knowing God is wisdom, then I do have something real to share. It’s good for those of us who have walked a few miles to remember all that we have gained in our years with the Lord. The relationship we share with Him is a thing of great beauty, a priceless treasure.
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.