This may be one of my most honest admissions. Are you ready for this? I am about to reveal something so personal, so private ... Information so top secret and so hidden it could forever change everything you think about me.
Here we go...
We were hanging out backstage after the Living Cross and someone asked my age. (I'd like to think I hide it well....but I was being put to the test.) She's a good friend that I can trust with this knowledge so I felt no reluctance to share "I just celebrated the 4th anniversary of my 29th birthday."
Seeing the puzzled look on her face, I could almost hear the calculator in her head. I decided to help her out since her Bible trivia is better than her math, so I said "I'm the same age Jesus lived to be." She laughed & immediately blurted out "You're 33!"
Shhhhh!!!!! Keep your voice down!!! (Gulp...I can't believe I just revealed this to you all!)
And then it hit me. I am the same age as Jesus when he died. His life ended at 33... The thought is sobering. I'm not ready for my life to end.
Don't get me wrong - I have already travelled the world, accomplished many things, I've received awards and accolades; I've met all kinds of people, I've shared His love in multiple languages and countries. I've looked into the eyes of people so poor it made me sick to my stomach for all I have. I can't say I am anything but unbelievably and undeservingly blessed... But I'm not ready to die.
What If I knew... What if I was aware that this was my last year on earth? Oh you'd better believe I would have gone to that garden and cried out in torment and pleaded in anguish. Surely I would have begged God.
Speaking of Gethsemane, I've been there too. I've seen olive trees so big they shade the ground where Jesus would have knelt to pray. I've walked through the path of wildgrown flowers and greenery where the disciples probably fell asleep. I've seen that place where Creator wrestled against the Creation He formed pleading with His Father to take the cup...
So far I've been given 33 years on this planet and that's all the time my Savior had. It causes me to stop and reflect. Certainly I haven't honored Him all the days of my life. I'm sure I've blessed and been blessed but I don't feel like my ministry and service is fulfilled yet. I am not ready for my time on earth to be complete.
Maybe you've already passed your 33rd birthday. Maybe 33 still sounds like a distant (and old) number (just watch it - one day you'll realize it's not that old!) Either way, I am challenged by a quote I heard years ago, "The fact that I am alive today is proof positive that God has something for me to do." Let's live this out to the fullest. The very fact you opened your eyes, took in a breath, and greeted THIS DAY is proof enough that God has a plan for you.
You may not raise the dead, but you may give encouragement to someone who's spirit is crushed within them. You may not feed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish, but the overflow of your life might be the spiritual food that someone needs to feast on. You may not be delivering the sermon on the mount, but your life could be a testimony that speaks to people who sense His presence at work in you.
I'm more and more aware that age is just a number and not necessarily a reflection of how you feel. However it is the number that marks the days He already had planned for you even as He formed you in the womb (Psalm 139). 33 plus or minus however many years you are... Let's make today count!