I imagine that turning 30 hasn’t gotten easier as the years have passed. In our twenties we tend to have big plans and visions for our futures. Some people have those visions pan out exactly as they had planned. Most of us don’t. We finish school, begin our careers/families, travel, stay where we are, or whatever, but it never quite looks how we planned.
For me it looked like seeing one of my biggest fears coming alive so closely it felt like a train was racing toward me and I couldn’t move off the track. Fear is paralyzing at times. That’s why I dove into 1 Peter. I needed to know what to do with it. I wondered what the purpose of the fear was for me. Well, Peter was not afraid to let me know,
“You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold which perishes though refined by the fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Let me just tell you that my first (nor second nor third) reaction was to rejoice. My first reaction was to cry. And not cry out to the Lord for help. Just cry. Ugly cry. Then a good friend cried with me and prayed; the church is there to carry one another’s burdens. During that time, I remembered true things. I wanted to trust and glorify God in my response. I didn’t want to be controlled by my fear or my situation. But you know what? Even saying those true things aloud was painful.
A few weeks later I read this passage from 1 Peter. Writing it out I saw that genuine faith – the kind that exists even when life isn’t beautiful – is what God was producing in me. Life is messy. So messy that I won’t be sharing a photo of the inside of my house, but God is working. He’s not just sitting back and looking at our mess and our pain and thinking, “what a waste.” Instead, He will be glorified! Even in this. So we praise, we glory, we honor Christ.
“I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages.” -Charles Spurgeon