It has not been easy.
The wrestling here at this point in this valley.
This 33 snuck up on me. Now I'm another year older.
So what now?
What does it mean?
32 was my crucifixion year. 32 was letting go and dying to self and sacrificing everything and getting wrecked and losing much and the painful burning away of what I once held dear.
I’m marked by 32. I’ll look back and I’ll see it in the tapestry of my past and I’ll remember – yes, 32 – unexpectedly crushing and so so beautiful because…Jesus. How is it that He makes the worst things the most beautiful things?
Just as I said before, it’s like Him hanging there on that bloody cross…broken, shattered, scarred, betrayed, desolate, overshadowed by darkness.
How is it that we look at that awful, ugly day, there on that rock of Golgatha, and see the most powerfully beautiful moment in all of history?
This is my story, this is my song…praising my Savior all the day long.
All the day. Even and especially those ones where I’m crying out from my cracks of desolation. He is worthy of praise because somehow He makes it all beautiful.
But what of 33? What is its significance? For I feel it must be – I know it is.
I told my friend – I don’t want 33. It feels like failure. To live all these years and see that Jesus lived just exactly that many and then He died. She looked at me astonished…don’t you remember it’s the year He was resurrected, too?
And so, that’s what I believe. 33 is resurrection. All of it will come back to life.
All of it.
All of this that has been lying nearly dormant for all these years, dormant in the cold but for the small smoldering flicker of a flame that has refused to go out. It’s coming back. It’s coming back to life.
I could feel it this morning. This morning after everyone had left and I was alone. This morning of 33. And there in the middle of my living room I cried at the top of my lungs,
…just like I did nine years ago in my darkest valley. Because every step I’ve taken has been for this call, this call to give all to the One who deserves it, the One who also gave all for me.
It’s been a steep, narrow path and sometimes I am so confused about why I’m not seeing the destination, but I just keep yelling my war cry and pressing on because He’s everything. Jesus is just everything. And without Him I am nothing. And so I chase Him with all I’ve got.
And somehow I know that this is the resurrection year, but that doesn’t mean easy, it doesn’t mean without a fight. Because after He rose, that’s when His Church was birthed, and since that time He’s entrusted to us the care of His body, and if I am to care for His body, oh please give me the task to care for His heart.
My Beloved’s heart. How dare I ask to be assigned to its care? Yet He whispers, “Yes, yes. That has always been your station, little one. That has always been where I wanted you.”
But how can I be entrusted with this Heart? The Heart of all hearts. I know what it means…to care for it is to carry it, and to carry it is to feel the weight of all that it is breaking for. Oh the nations, oh His bride, oh the desperate ones who have nothing and no one to give them hope except for Him…but who will take Him but us, these weak and frail instruments surrendered to His will for His glory, and to touch and serve His precious heart.
So Jesus, resurrect me. Resurrect me to be burned up in service to your heart.
I don’t care what they say about me. I don’t care about the words of this world. Oh Jesus, you know my care is simply and always for You. It always has been it always will be, for You have captured me.
As the smallest child I felt Your hand claim my heart and forever since I said and say yes. Because this life is so short. And this entrustment belongs to You – how can I just sit uselessly not caring for it at all, not laying it on your altar, not pouring myself out as a drink offering?
“But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God…” Philippians 2:17, NLT
Oh to be resurrected in order to be burned up and poured out.
This is 33. I’m brightly anticipating and soberly understanding the gravity of it all.
And even in the gravity, oh what joy. What joy and bliss it is to be Yours and to know Your grace in the middle of the life, the death, the resurrection. You author Joy – and oh “Count it all joy, my brothers [and sisters], when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2, ESV)
What joy it is to surrender and be fully yours. Once all is given to You then nothing else can be taken from me, for it is already Yours and I lay no claim. So here is all the light and freedom and grace I need to be a servant to Your beautiful heart.
33. Resurrected, surrendered, joyful. And so, I boldly walk forward, knowing my marching orders will be beyond my capacity and filled with Your grace.
Always yes, Jesus. Always yours and always yes…
(*Call to Me, by Jared Anderson)