I turn 35 today. I like to describe it as halfway to 70. And while I was away at MEC, Phan discovered that she could buy jeans for me at Gap Kids.
So yesterday I was at Gap Kids buying jeans for myself. Apparently i’m a Husky 13. Turning 35 and buying jeans at Gap Kids is a rather humbling (though i used the word humiliating) experience. But as I was trying these jeans on, i kept asking myself, why should I be humiliated? I mean, i’m getting jeans for half-price, and they actually fit me, and i won’t be dragging my jeans through the rain anymore — but still part of me — my pride — refused to let go of the fact that I was shopping for men’s clothing in a boyswear department. (I bought them in the end. And yes, they fit.)
But that struggle, that realisation that there was this “pride” in my heart – this self-definition of who I am – that made me so hesitant to humble myself to just buy them with joy and happiness! It was as if there was a great thing to be had, if I would just humble myself to get them.
And as I listened to Alex’s sermon this morning, I realised that in the same way, if I refuse to realise that I have died with Christ – if I continue to hold onto my own pride and desires – then I am missing out on the fullness of Christ’s resurrection. He has so much more for me – and yet until I realise that I have died with Christ, i deny myself the goodness of a fuller life with Him.
I mean Jesus triumphed over death. And he offers us his resurrection, if we will die to ourselves.
Alex is right (he spoke this week at the BCEC on 1 Corinthians 15:50-58). There is a miraculous understanding in a believer’s life when we begin to grasp hold of the fact that Jesus is alive! He is risen! That we serve the only one to conquer death.
Alex said, “If Christ is victorious over death, then there is something very powerful about what God is doing now!” That death for Christians no longer holds any power. It strikes me, because then i am challenged to see that i should not be afraid of death. Even more so, the life i have here isn’t to be lived in fear of death – but rather should be lived with a boldness and love for God. In fact, there’s no ounce of self-pride left in me, because I have died with Christ already. There is no shame in proclaiming Christ, because He is all I live for now.
As we learn to Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength this year, there’s a growing desire in myself to indeed, desire, and love God more – to stop holding onto things for myself, so that I may gain Christ.
What joy and freedom there is in life realising that I have died to myself and am alive in Him. It’s way better than buying new jeans.