In my homeland Australia right now it is my birthday – but thanks to moving to the UK for a time, I conveniently have an extra 10 hours of being twenty something, rather than thirty. So, what do I have to say for myself?
The last few weeks leading up to my birthday have been difficult at times because I feel sad that I am so far from my family and from the friends that I’ve known for the longest – that whilst I know that I’ll have a good celebration here, I’ll be missing people who would need to sell all their earthly things twice over to attend. But is there something more than that? Do I fear the big 3-0?
A lot of people would look at this number as a marker to measure themselves against. Most would hope to be married, maybe have a family, have a good career and lots of friends and a nice car. Well, I’m very blessed to have some of those things, but not the career, car, house or any kind of money. I don’t feel like I’m really lacking not having more than what I need for groceries and petrol, but a voice in my head speaks seemingly wise words like – how are you providing for your future? what if there is an unforeseen expense?
A wise friend once told me that not having a way to provide for my family was the greatest negligence I could commit. Whilst I believe that to be true for the majority of people, I consider us to be special. Because God has called us to work for him in missions, we trust Him to provide for us everything that we need – and this comes through generous people that respond to his prompting. Some give a regular amount through our mission organisation – others occasionally send us money. Often the money arrives just as we need it, and just as we reach the end of ourselves. Right now, we are behind on the money that should pay our allowance (we are still given money to live on). Some of our financial partners fell in to hard times, and some of our income came all at once and was spent on a visa and medical for Australia – again, a miraculous provision. We are trusting God to call more people to join us financially.
When we return to Australia next year, I will likely not have a job yet, I will have my parents’ home to stay in and a wife to support. Though I’ve been working in my field of expertise here, It’s not exactly a clear career progression. I sometimes feel like – at the age of 30, I’v nothing to show for myself. But perhaps having something to show is really just a childish notion. Perhaps the man who doesn’t have Jesus, or pays him lip service on Sundays won’t have anything to show for when he meets his maker. He may be saved just barely as one escaping through the flames. Maybe, what I have to show isn’t things or people – it’s obedience.
–edit — There are plenty more people who are living faithful Christian lives and have good careers and families, and they are just as valuable as I am. I respect those people a lot. I’m just not one of them at this time.
In my life I have first a great God who has a plan for me. A God who’s commands are my first priority. I have an amazing wife who will do anything to make me happy. I have a family in Australia who support my every move – and a new family in the UK who have called me their own. I have faithful, encouraging friends where I am and in Australia and around the word – and all of these people – friends, family, God – love me more than I realise. I’m so thankful for all of them.
Yes, I’m ready to wake up tomorrow, 30 years old – childish, poor, antisocial, career-less, undeservedly loved by many and in God’s safe hands.