It was funny. I read the 40th day in my devotional this morning and I thought, ‘how cool? i’ve made it through 40 days. that’s pretty significant, right? yay to the me.’
It’s not that 40 is ever really defined as a significant value, but it is repeated in the Bible a few times, e.g. raining for 40 days and 40 nights, Moses sitting on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights; and it’s commonly referred to as the number of times someone has to engage in an activity for it to be a habit … hence that ‘yay to the me.’ comment.
But what I didn’t realize at at that moment was that the content of today’s devotional was oh-so-much more important. It was about those things that we tend to hide – but really struggle most with – and how we should seek to become more aware of those things so we can become more open to God’s abundant healing and truth.
Then, today happened. And, it was my devotional coming to life and I felt like I could really relate to the 40 days stories at that point. They weren’t shiny, happy times. They often, well … sucked. Sometimes i feel like those poor Israelites … wandering for 40 years. I start to get to a point where I’m feeling like there are some points of clarity and then “BAM!” reality strikes and I feel like I’m back to square one. But there is a ton of truth in the author’s words I read today: We can use those moments of brokenness, ultimately, to lead to a healthier wholeness. The idea of being whole. Yes, I can latch on to that.
The saving grace for the day was a celebration this evening. Unfortunately, it didn’t entirely coincide with 40 as my sister turned 41 today (she’s okay with me sharing, I’m sure of it), so forgive the shift in gears here.
We gathered at her house for dinner and dessert and talked about how it was not only the day of Nikki’s birth so many, many years ago, but that it was also the day of Brian’s trip home for the very first time. His birthday is June 3, but his adoptive parents brought him home on August 24th, just one year prior to Nikki making her way into my parent’s world.
I had some craptastic (yep, I just said that) things happen today, but none that will result in anything life-altering, thank goodness. They were all just reminders that we are not in control. And despite how I can (usually) put on a smile on the worst of days, I really have no idea what lies ahead. None of us do. Let’s just be honest. But if we use those opportunities to become better, and to find our what God really has in store for us, then we’re on the right track.
And frankly, there are other more significant events, like a sister’s birth or a brother-in-law’s welcome home, that remind us of the plans He’s already made for us.