“In the beginning, God….”
Every epic story begins with God. The Bible is filled with epic stories. They are about God using ordinary people living inspirational lives despite extraordinary circumstances. It is the story we all expected to write when we started our own families. We would have an inspiring marriage, avoid the mistakes of our parents and our kids would make us look, well… extraordinary.
Life, however, doesn’t always cooperate with our expectations. Raising a family is hard and kids have a way of making us look, well…inadequate. As I have gotten older and accumulated some of life’s disappointments, , struggling has become my new norm as my desire for relief grows. Unfortunately I often find relief in self-pity and making excuses. It is how I justify lowering my expectations – to compromise the goal of living an extraordinary life.
A couple of my favorite heroes in the bible are Zechariah and Elizabeth. You’ll find their story in the first chapter of Luke.
Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.
Their story is about family, expectations, disappointment, struggle and perseverance. It is also a story about aging and God doing something epic with two people “well along in years.”
Clearly, for Zechariah and Elizabeth there were many years of unfulfilled expectations along with the inevitable disappointments from not having children. But what is convicting to me is that regardless of how life turned out, they stayed upright and blameless in God’s eyes. They did not feel sorry for themselves, they did not compromise the way they lived, and they did not grow bitter with age. Neither did they know that God was working on the most epic story in all of history and that they were going to play a significant role in that story.
God had a plan all along. Neither age nor circumstance has ever been a limiting factor with God whether it be an 8 year old king (2 Kings 22:1) or an 85 year old Warrior (Joshua 14:10-12). God uses anyone willing to be wholehearted toward him.
If you are able to read this, then you are still writing your story. Your story can still be epic – not because you are extraordinary, but rather because God is extraordinary. God uses ordinary people, regardless of age or life circumstances, to live inspiring lives.
Read the story of Caleb, an 85 year old warrior in the books of Joshua and Numbers.
But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.
Read about Josiah (2 Kings chapters 22-23), who became king at only 8 years old.
Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did-with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
2 Kings 23:25
- Are there areas in your life you no longer believe God can change?
- Have you pulled back from being wholehearted?
- What prayers are you resistant or afraid to pray that will require wholeheartedness?
- What would your epic story look like if you were not limited by age or circumstance?