Halfway to Fullness
“Out of His (Christ’s) fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.”- John 1:16
One Hundred is a big number and a big deal. A student loves getting a 100% on a quiz/test. A teenager feels rich after making their first $100 at work and putting it in the bank. A contestant on the Price Is Right goes bonkers if they land 100 on the Big Wheel. And in modern, hip vernacular someone will utter the term “Keeping it 100” to indicate they are being honest and authentic on a conversation topic.
Let me keep it 100 for a moment, as next week I will be turning 50. Most people have a birthday that feels different, one that is given more attention and contemplation. For some 18, 21, 30, 40, and 65 are pivotal years of significance, transition, and growth. Turning fifty has been the “big one” for me.I am calling this major milestone, “Halfway to Fullness” (I should copyright that). I think much of what I am feeling is a sense of deep gratitude for God’s loving kindness, continued goodness, and sustaining grace. Almost each decade has seen major shifts, ups and downs, victories and heartbreaks, miracles and messes. God has protected me from so much and provided abundantly all along the way. I place my own “amen” to David’s confession in Psalm 37:25, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”
Fist ten: A troubled childhood and broken home.
From 11-20: Parents divorce, move to California, angry teen years, meet Jesus at 18, job at church.
From 21-30: Called to be a pastor, kept safe from gunpoint robbery, met and married Joanie, graduate college, become youth pastor, buy first home, have first child, 9/11.
From 31-40: Two more sons, move to new home, Pastor Scott’s death, complete master’s degree, become senior pastor at Shepherd’s House.
From 41-50: Adopt Mia, move church to new property, navigating leading church/pastoring during COVID, move to new home to make room for mother-in-law and future!
As I come to fifty, I am approaching this birthday with a sense of renewal, celebration, and thriving forward thinking. My recent prayer to Jesus has been that the next decade of life would be the best one yet! And I am here to confess that this chapter is off to an amazing start, as I am in the process of finishing my first book and will have all four kids graduating from school in May/June of next year (while I am still 50).
My prayer is that we would all be keeping it 100 and believing 100% in God’s promise to us written in Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of the Lord Jesus.” I am confident that for each one reading this article, you would be able to create a decade-by-decade account of major life moments where the Lord met you and moved in them!