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Thursday, October 23, 2008

25 Years; Getting Better All The Time

Last night in choir rehearsal, the director asked a simple question to the group. He asked how many in the room had been a Christian more than 20 years. The reason he asked was that a couple of weeks ago, when we last sang, he had a little trouble being convinced we were really believing what we were singing. It was a fantastic song, and we sang it well. But there is another part of communicating a message in addition to just getting the words and notes right. It's in our sincere joy. Our sincere expression. Our sincere passion.

Then I started thinking of the amount of time it's been in my life. I made a commitment in my life to serve the Lord in 1983. Some of you reading this may not completely understand what that phrase means, or what it means to me. Hopefully, if you know me, you understand that it doesn't mean carrying a 25 pound bible under my arm and using it to beat people over the head with all it contains. Hopefully you have seen in me a man who is much like anyone else. I have struggles, I have victories...just like anyone else. I just wonder where I'd be if it weren't for Him. Everything in my life, 25 years later, has a direct link to that single decision in 1983.

I began to think of the fact that, aside from my relationship with my parents, this is the longest everyday relationship I've ever been in. I know many people who have been married 25 years or more. Some have a rather ho hum attitude about their marriage and their spouse, while others still have this indescribable joy to be sharing their lives with their mate. Some complain about the quirks of their spouse, while others would admit their life would be devastatingly empty without their life mate being by their side.

As I began to assess my 25 year (and counting) relationship with Jesus, I can say that there have been many times we've disagreed on the way I think things should have gone. There have been times I felt He was being unfair. There have been times I've failed Him and broken His heart. There have been times where I was really mad at Him. There were times when I wondered if He really cared about me. There were times I wondered if He was even listening to me.

When thinking of all these things, I began to wonder why HE would still want to be in a relationship with me! The fact is, He loves me more than my simple human brain can comprehend. And the fact is, I love Him more today than I did 25 years ago. Heck, more than I did 25 days ago.

Life continues to have its challenges. I know it always will. But I know that as I continue to surrender myself to Him, He will make my paths straight, and He will come through just in time...every time. I've never known that the way I do now. I knew it in my head, but now I know it better in my heart. What a great relief it is to know He loves me unconditionally.

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