Friday, April 11, 2014

MY 40TH BIRTHDAY… RUINED!

Moses.
He ruined my birthday.

Between the Bible study I did this past year on the Tabernacle and the Chronological Bible study I am doing again this year, I have spent much of the last two years camping with Moses.

I watched Moses' family hide him the first three months of his life because the king of Egypt ordered his people to throw every Hebrew baby boy into the Nile river.  I followed Moses' sister, Miriam, down to the river where she placed Moses in a basket to hide him and watch over him.  I looked on as the Pharaoh's daughter disregarded her father's order, rescued Moses and adopted him as her own son.

Moses was rescued from the very river that was suppose to be his grave.
Born a Hebrew.  Raised as an Egyptian Prince.
God had a plan and purpose for Moses' life before he was even born.

The word got out that Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew and he panicked.  He fled to the land of Midian and ended up spending the next 40 years as a shepherd.  A shepherd spends a lot of time alone, watching over and protecting his sheep.  A life of solitude.  What better way to learn to hear the voice of God?

God showed up in the wilderness and told Moses to go back to Egypt and free His people from slavery.  Moses spent his last 40 years leading the Israelites toward the land promised to Abraham.

Moses' first 40 years [as a prince] and second 40 years [as a shepherd] were preparation for his last 40 years [as the leader of Israel].

Today is my birthday.
Today, I turn 40.
And all I can think about is Moses.

Moses did more for God in his second 40 and third 40 than he did in his first.
I desperately want that to be said of me.

I see so many people slow down as they get older.  At a time in their lives when they have more time, more resources and more life experience, they step aside.  They quit serving, quit volunteering, quit teaching, quit discipling.  The older they get, the less of a difference they make for the Kingdom.

Just like Moses, God has a purpose and a plan for each one of us.
God is using your circumstances, good and bad, as preparation for what is to come.
I can't help but wonder how God is going to use my today in my tomorrow.

Keith and I talked about taking a trip for my birthday.
Some place fun.  With friends.
But all I can think about is Moses.
He completely ruined my 40th birthday!

God put it on my heart to celebrate my 40th in a way that shows what I want the next 40 years to look like-- to be about.

So, in a few months, Keith and I are headed to the Dream Center in Los Angeles to spend the week doing short-term missions.  We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus, serving and loving on people.  We will spend the week surrounded by people who have come to a place where Jesus was the only way out of the pit they found themselves in and I am just beside myself.  I could not possibly be more excited.

All my birthday money this year is going here, to the Carney family.  Jason and Lacey Carney live in Malawi, Africa with their 6 kids.  They, like Moses, obeyed God's call to go.  They walk by faith everyday, trusting that the God who called them will also provide their every need.

I am so thankful that Moses ruined any and all plans I had for my birthday.
Doing something that reminds me that it's not about me is the best gift I could receive.

Praising God today for what He is going to do in my second 40!

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