Today I celebrate twenty-five years of life and grace. Considering that in the mind of God I was chosen and born and sanctified eternal ages ago, I am also celebrating myriads of ages of life and grace.
I don't entirely know what to say, but I feel responsible to communicate a Godward tribute for years of mercy given and wrath withheld. And on a day like today I can't help but think of who God is and what Christ did and what life should be like because of it.
Most young American men my age would be getting drunk or getting high or fornicating (let's call it what it is) tonight. And without a knowledge of God and His Son, that would kind of make sense.
But I know God, and I know His Son, and so there is a difference. I didn't choose the difference, though. I didn't make myself different. The difference is grace. Not intelligence, not self-control, not inborn morality, not life experience. Grace.
And now, because of that grace, I have a crystal-clear view of what life is all about. I know exactly what the next twenty-five years should be like.
I also know, though, that the last twenty-five have been like a breath. So tonight I sense a tenacious longing welling up in my soul, a longing that says O God, turn the next twenty-five years upside down if you must, but use me in Your name. Don't let a moment of it be wasted. Please.
We are so deceived. We stand in a line of countless generations that have all thought that they were invincible. Now they are all gone. And soon, we will be. Like lined-up dominos, we all fall in an instant. Generation after generation, man after man, day after day. Twenty-five years falls in an instant. This humbles me and it motivates me. I don't want to think I'm invincible. I want to consider my end. And until the end comes, I want to live well.
So tonight as I climb in bed, I find myself praying Psalm 39:4-5. Not so that I can be morbid or somber or pressured or sad, but so that I can be wise and driven and undistracted.
Lord, make me to know my end
And what is the extent of my days;
Let me know how transient I am.
Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight;
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.