It is almost midnight and here I sit with a mason jar of iced green tea and a banana chocolate Milano. My bed has been commandeered by two children while my husband sleeps deeply and comfortably. I was lying there, as best as I could, considering, contemplating and thinking. The whole late-night reflection things, seems to be a natural hobby of mine. My best thoughts and ideas are usually born in these quiet moments and my deepest fears and regrets often find this time to be their ideal moment to haunt. But, when I quiet my mind and focus on Him, I find this to be the time when I hear those heavenly whispers speaking life and peace into my soul. It is a time where I so heavily and fully feel His presence. It is usually the time when He invites me to search harder and dig deeper into who He is…it is a time when He cultivates and grows my heart closer to His own.
I was thinking of my life. I lied there lamenting the years of waste that I squandered so selfishly and sinfully. I begged God to forgive me – again. I felt His presence drawing near as He whispered reminders of grace. He showed me glimpses of who I am now, to help me forgive who I was then. The words from For King and Country echoed in my brain…“I see you dressed in white, every wrong made right, I see a rose in bloom at the sight of you”. He gave me a glimpse of who I am in Him and how I am seen through His eyes. He drew me nearer. I could feel his love. His love that pursued me, sent my heart racing. His love that redeemed me, made my lips tremble. His love that restored me, brought forth the tears. I then knew, so I could then surrender. I am thankful that He never tires of reminding me, especially in those dark moments, of who I am in Him and through Him – as the song says, Priceless.
So, by this time, I am really no longer able to sleep. I gently climb out of my fully occupied bed and make my way to my computer desk. My birthday is on my mind…another year, another drop in my bucket of life. I now sit here, thinking of my original lament – wasted. I don’t want to look back and see a life lived in the security of contentment. I want to look back and see a life lived fully, one that made large investments into the kingdom, rather than into – a bank account, a bigger and better home, or a life of luxury. I look over my should and see my husband’s new book, it is staring me down – Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I pick up the book and flip it over. The words seem to pop-out, as if in 3D – “God created us to live with a single passion to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”. My heart’s slow beat begins to find quicker pace. Redemption. He is showing me that, it is not too late. The wasted life I led so brokenly, there is redemption for that, as well.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
He promises that there will be risks and that there will be sacrifices, but He promises that His glory and goodness is worth it. I find it to be no surprise that I have just finished a study of the book of 1 Peter. The call for a life of obedience and submission to Him is echoed all throughout, but so also is the promise of a Living Hope and the fullness of grace that is to come.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
1 Peter 1:3-5
At the end of the 1 Peter study (by Jen Wilkin), she talked about a moment when Jesus was talking to Peter – “A third time he asked him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, ‘Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Then feed my sheep’.” Jen brought up this passage from John 21:17 to show us how in the three times Jesus asked Peter of his love for Him, was to show Peter the three times He redeemed Peter’s denials of Him. Then the words she spoke next resonated deep within me, “Feed my sheep…it is what Peter was redeemed for”. Is that not the same for all of us? Are we each redeemed and restored from our broken states…to live a life dedicated to our own comfort and glory? Or…were we redeemed for so much more?
Today, I turn another year older…another drop in my bucket of life. I see God working and moving in my heart. I see God working and moving in my husband’s heart. He is drawing us deeper and He is asking us to trust more, so we can do more. His plans not revealed, but our hearts and mind wanting to surrender. We know He can redeem a wasted life for a life fulfilled. And in the place where He draws us both in sync, we feel His promise for perfect peace in the uncertainty and His sovereign strength for the struggle. I am shown that He can take my single drops and, by His grace, multiply them for His glory. It is here and now in which I know that I want a bucket full when I stand before Him, not a bucket empty.