Monday, June 30, 2014

21,000 DAYS


It's a significant number.

Let me tell you what it means.

I was reading a post the other day about the importance of walking with the Lord – and how it really doesn't matter whether it's only been one day or 10,000…

I got to thinking about that.

I've been a believer since I was about 3.  I just turned 60.  So, I calculated the days.  It's been in the vicinity of 21,000 days that I've walked with the Lord.

I was kinda shocked.

To try to put the number in perspective, I translated it into miles.  And that would be like walking 57 miles a day for a whole year!  (Which, incidentally, would greatly enhance my plan to lose a pound or two or twenty…just sayin').

21,000.

A rather long journey.

And an adventurous one.

It's been fraught with highs and lows mountains and valleys and deserts – storm and wilderness and drought.  Moments of faith aflame, and moments of parched doubt.  Soaring victory and treacherous failure.

All serving to weave a quilt full of the patchwork of my life.

All walked with Jesus.

OK, sure, sometimes I've lagged behind or run ahead – or even wandered off for periods of time.

But never, ever have I walked alone.

God's Word promises that.

But what about me?

I know that He is always with me…but am I still with Him?

It's no small question.

Plenty of people start out strong in their loyalty to our Savior.  But sometimes, somewhere along the line, life invades that Garden of Eden perfect picture of unity.

Something changes inside…

And the walk with Him is abandoned.

Some only leave for a season.  Some never return.  Some were never on the path in the first place, not really.

But what about me?

Some detours along the way, but I've been walking 21,000 days.

Now, please know that I am NOT bragging here.  This is no "accomplishment" on my part.  This is nothing to "brag" about.  If anything, let it be a testimony to the faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.

What did Paul say?

"If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD."

So, it is all Him.

And yet, there is a choice on my part, too.  For God is the ultimate gentleman.  He never forces people to follow Him, nor to worship Him.  He gives His awful and wonderful gift of free will, and then He lets us choose.

When I was but a child of three, I chose Him.

And I can honestly say I have never regretted nor abandoned my choice.

Yes, I am still with Him.

And this is a particularly sweet victory in the middle of one of the hardest years in my life.


So, what does it mean to stay with Him?

It means a lot of things.  I'm listing some of what it means to me…

Communication – talking to Him, crying to Him, ranting to Him.

Reading His Word – letting His words sink into my heart and permeate my thoughts.

Fellowship – joining with others, not neglecting the Body of Christ.

Worship – never forgetting His holiness and glory.

Praise – telling Him how wonder-full I think He is (even when I'm mad at Him – maybe especially when I'm mad at Him…)

Awe – never forgetting Who's really in charge.

Denying myself – yup, all that personal cross-carrying stuff.

Discipleship – following, always following, after Him.

Hope – Holding On (with) Perseverance (and) Endurance

And yes, JOY – Jesus, Only You.


I guess as I reflect on my lifelong journey with the Lord, this is what it means for me to walk 21,000 days.

It means choosing Him, even when I don't feel like it, even when I don't see my way clear, even when I can only sit in the middle of the road and cry.

It means choosing Him one day at a time.

And what of that choice?

Does it matter?

Oh my, yes.

It matters for me, this is without doubt.  But I also think it has huge ramifications in the spiritual realm.

What does it mean when we choose to stay with Him?

Does it affect the enemy of our souls?

Oh, indeed, I think it does.

My paraphrase of a popular thought:

"Be the type of person that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, 'Oh no!  They're up!'"

Lately, it's been more like me saying this – "Oh no.  I'm up."  As in, oh dear, it's another day.

However, even in that state of mind, I'm still choosing to follow the Lord.

And THAT, my friends, is what I think scares the enemy.


Job, sitting in a pile of rags, festering with boils, taunted by friends, and light years away from God’s comfort…

Even then – Job was SCARY!

This statement: "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…" (Job13:15, NIV)


Esther, willing to take a life-or-death stand against a treacherous enemy…

Even then – Esther was SCARY!

This statement: "And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king.  If I must die, I must die." (Esther 4:16, NLT)


Paul, who was put in prison, whipped times without number, faced death again and again, was stoned, shipwrecked three times, set adrift at sea, and faced danger from friends and enemies alike….

Even then – Paul was SCARY!

This statement: "Just as it is written, 'FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.'  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:36-37, NASB)


And, even though the thought scares me somewhat, I also want to be SCARY to the devil.

I want my faith to be intimidating to him.

My choice to keep walking on the Narrow Way might just be winning battles that I don't even know about.

Job never knew about the cosmic chess match happening in the heavens.

But when he chose to hang on to his faith in God even though he was angry and confused and suffering – I have a feeling that the heavens thundered, "CHECKMATE!"

Not that God needed any help from Job – but something happens when beings with free will CHOOSE to stay loyal.

Have you ever pictured the next moment?

I have.  I can see God look at Lucifer with a smile on His face.  I can see a defeated angel skulking away, with his head hanging low, muttering in disgust and frustration:

"Another human defies me."

Yes, let's do that.


So, it's been around 21,000 days that I've walked with the Lord.  And though the walk has not been easy lately, I'm still here.  Still choosing to follow.  Still loyal to Him.

And I am making trouble in the ranks of those who defy the Living God, and who would love to defeat those He loves.

Don't count me out.

I am still walking…





Whoever says he abides in Him
ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

Following in His footsteps.



"Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God."(Psalm 20:7, NLT)

"In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to Your name forever.  Selah." (Psalm 44:8, NASB)

"This is what the LORD says:
'Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.
I, the LORD, have spoken!'" (Jeremiah 9:23-24, NLT)

"As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died." (Galatians 6:14, NLT)

"I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, ESV)

"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23:6, NLT)




How many days have you walked with Him?  Do you think it makes a difference when you choose to walk with Him even during tough times?


Linked today with:

SHARING HIS BEAUTY, UNFORCED RHYTHMS, PLAYDATES WITH GOD, INSPIRE ME MONDAY, TELL ME A TRUE STORY, UNITE, SOLI DEO GLORIA, TITUS 2 TUESDAYS, TESTIMONY TUESDAY, WHIMSICAL WEDNESDAYS, WINSOME WEDNESDAY, WHOLEHEARED WEDNESDAY, TELL HIS STORY, WORD FILLED WEDNESDAY, THREE WORD WEDNESDAY, COFFEE FOR YOUR HEART, FAITH BARISTA JAM, THOUGHT-PROVOKING THURSDAY, THRIVING THURSDAY, THRIVE AT HOME THURSDAY, A LITTLE R & R WEDNESDAY, FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS, HEARTS FOR HOME, FRIENDSHIP FRIDAY, FAITH FILLED FRIDAY, ESSENTIAL FRIDAYS, WHATEVER IS LOVELY, THE FRIDAY FIVE, SPIRITUAL SUNDAYS, COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, WEEKEND BREW, STILL SATURDAY, RECOMMENDATION SATURDAY, SUNDAY STILLNESS, GIVE ME GRACE


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Sharon, as always I can relate to much of it. Not about believing since the age of 3 though (gosh that is young) I didn't really believe until I was in my mid thirties. I thank God that now "In the Power of Christ" I stand" although very wobbly sometimes

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  2. What a powerful post, Sharon. Although I cannot say that I've been walking as many days as you have been, my sweet sister, but I really don't think it matters to God at all...he's just glad we are, no matter how long. I was 35 years old before I knew the Lord and there have been many times when I have grieved myself over all of the wasted years. Now that I know better, I realize that God doesn't see it that way at all. He's just glad that I finally saw His Light! I knew there was God in heaven and that Jesus was His Son, but had no idea about the relationship that was possible! I see Nita's post above and realize our stories are similar! Blessings to you, friend and Happy July 4th!

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  3. So on day 20,001... our choice is the same, and I stand beside you in choosing to walk, and wanting my life to be scary to satan. Sometimes I know I don't scare him very much, but other times... he skulks away. Thanks for these words of encouragement! Keep walkin'...

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  4. I've been walking, too, a few miles short of your walk. I was 4 and I'm a "tad" (smiley face) younger than you. Isn't it amazing to look back and see how far we've walked? Who knows the road I"d be on if it wasn't for my relationship with the God of the Universe. I know when I'd begin to make gods of fortune or fame, He's gently guided me back. He's a good Shepherd! ~Pamela

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  5. Same here. I want to always be walking with my Lord...always. I know He will never leave me even though at times I have strayed from Him. As a good friend of mine said the other day, the important thing is that we do come back to Him. And, yes, oh yes, I want to be scary to that old snake satan. When I first read the quote about him being scared when my feet hit the floor I said a big 'Yes!' to that one! He is defeated and Jesus is Lord!
    Big Hugs, Girl!

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  6. What a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness on your journey. Powerful post. Praising God for your walk, and God's abiding love.

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  7. This was great to read, Sharon, it must have been mind blowing when you did the math and figured out how many days you have been following the Lord. You are so right, he is a gentleman, he never goes where he is not wanted. I do know there are usually peaks and valleys in one's walk, just like everything in life, but the root of it is we still want to continue walking, even though we sometimes stray or rest a bit until he gently might nudge us or remind us it is time to get on his path again.

    betty

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  8. Wow. I love seeing a number like that. I grew up always knowing the Lord, so I should do the math myself. That is a long journey, and yes, an adventurous one. And even more to come! So glad we're never alone a single step of the way! Let's keep walking on....

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  9. Even young children with their tender spirit can invite Jesus into their heart and continue to walk (most of the time) in harmony with Him. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.” http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

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  10. AMEN ... Sharon and may we keep walking (in those shoes, the ones that follow Only Jesus)(love the photo!) ... and this message ... my days are numbered just like yours from 13 until now, although not always walked with Him (as you so beautifully pointed out the ins and outs)... but I'm so glad that you did the math of 21,000 days for us both and the miles ... not in boast but all to His Glory!

    Praying the enemy hears my feet hit the ground and stomp out his rhetoric and defeat of my day and walk; putting on my full armor ... sometimes I forget about the importance of each piece. like the shoes or the belt ... hopefully I never leave my sword (in my bed or bedside) yet cling to it and take it with me! Makes my day so much better, not so sure if I'm SCARY or scared like the wonderful way you illustrated this with biblical characters, highlighting how the enemy must have trembled and will also when he hears my feet hit the floor (barefoot, sandals, or tennis)!

    Great message! Great word penned (once again)! Really speaks to me to not waste one mile, one day ... and the number of days or miles leaves me in awe!

    Thank you for this and the HOPE (acronym)(you knew I'd love that one)! So I will
    Hold On with Perseverance and Endurance ... choosing Him and keep on walking
    on the good and not so good days, may I always bring glory to the name of Jesus' in my life and for the lives of others to better know His saving and amazing grace, love and mercy! Now that's complete JOY!

    Thanks! Hope you are enjoying being back with the hub on the mount! Rest (sometimes these 'feet' are made for walking and sometimes for resting too) ... after these many miles and days ... no way could I walk that much(57 per day? every day of the year-talk about burnout) (but with Jesus, nothing is impossible, right?)

    Love you, praying as you walk it out ... sending a BIG hug,
    Peggy

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    1. P.S. 13 is when I dedicated my life to Jesus, knowing Him better, serving Him more, loving Him as He loves me ... but had known Him all my life, this was just when I CHOSE ... although I too slid off the road at times, He always brought me back on track and I am so thankful each day I walk on the road with Him, not ahead of Him or without or off track ... He is my way, my truth and my life ... so I counted from 13 rather than 3 like you (so what difference does that make numerically?) ... or should I count since birth or rebirth? You see, you're right, the number may not matter whether it's one day or 10,000 less --- I love it that we stayed the course and you enumerated and shared the best route of doing this from Communication (Relationship) to JOY, which I truly see in you and our journey ... Praise God! We walk hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, prayer by prayer ... Holding On Persevering, Enduring ... with Jesus
      Only You!!! Thank You, Lord! for this Word from Sharon this day as encouragement like Paul gives us to Press On ...

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    2. Another correction, since it was in sixth grade---for me, that would make me 10 not 13 and that's easier to figure out for 50 yrs.=18,250 days or all my life would be --- 21,720 (since July 4th is the 185th day of this year) oh but I forgot the end of last year since October ... so give or take we're close ... isn't this wonderful that I have nothing more to do on this day than figure this out? ... Going out for Hot dogs at the corner stand ... with fries ... to help me think about picnics and such! Hope you are enjoying a happy 4th and beautiful fireworks!

      Love, thoughts, and prayers with God's blessings,
      Peggy

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    3. More details... accurate calculation (yes, you can delete these both)

      21,915 days.

      This is equal to 60 years.

      This does not include the end date, so it's accurate if you're measuring your age in days, or the total days between the start and end date. But if you want the duration of an event that includes both the starting date and the ending date, then it would actually be 21,916 days.

      If you're counting workdays or weekends, there are 15,653 weekdays and 6,262 weekend days.

      If you include the end date of XXX X, 2014 which is a Thursday, then there would be 15,654 weekdays and 6,262 weekend days including both the starting Saturday and the ending Thursday.

      21,915 days is equal to 3,130 weeks and 5 days.

      The total time span from XXXX to XXXX,2014 is 525,960 hours.

      This is equivalent to 31,557,600 minutes.

      You can also convert 21,915 days to 1,893,456,000 seconds.

      http://www.convertunits.com/dates


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  11. To borrow a line from the 70's, "Keep on truckin'!" Great thoughts, Sharon. It's a race or a walk, but you've done it well, sister.
    "But never, ever have I walked alone." That line hit home. How true, we never, ever walk without the loving hand of our Father watching over us, protecting us more than we'll ever know until we reach home. Wonderful post.

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  12. I honestly believe if I hadn't walked with Him (or He with me) in those hard times, I wouldn't have made it. You're so right. We celebrate these milestones, not as "I am so faithful," but acknowledging that He is so faithful and grace is so wonderful. Thanks Sharon. Great encouragement and challenge!

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  13. Every step brings something new. May each one be blessed. Thanks for linking with Unforced Rhythms.

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  14. I started living for Christ in the second grade. However - I used to wonder - how can I be faithful for a lifetime? How can I do this for a lifetime? That is the miracle of God:) Congratulations on your 21,000 days and how you gave them all to Him!

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  15. I praise the LORD for His sweet love that holds us dearly whether we have walked 1 day or 30,000 or whatever. I came to Him, truly came, at age 45 and am 66 now so my walk is nothing like yours, yet I know that I am His as are you. This was wonderfully written, and fun to ponder. I'll do some math later!! : )
    Wandering over from Beth's.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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  16. Awwww - I just wrote you a grand tome and then it lost everything when I picked my Google ID. That usually doesn't happen. Gah!

    Anyway - I was reminded of Stormie Omartian's "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On" and the "Footprints" poem and waxed elegantly about the two in relation to what you have shared here and now - poof - it's gone.

    Well - regardless, your posts always bless me and cause me to think and ponder which is always a good thing. Be ye blessed!!!!

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  17. Living faith out - one day at a time. They collect and gather to become a legacy of grace. Keep to it, sister.

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  18. Wow, Sharon! This is a wonderful, wonderful post. I loved the thought of how many days I have been walking with Jesus! So, I am 47 years old, and I got saved when I was 10...I just calculated it, and that equates to 13,505 days!!! A few more, because I can't remember the exact day I got saved...I think it was in the springtime. So thankful for you and your dear blog. By the way, I LOVE the purple mountain majesty photo on the right. There is something about mountains that just beckons me. Much love to you!

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  19. Love this, Sharon! I just got done reading Jean Fleming's Pursue the Interntional Life -- she started thinking about how she wanted to finish her race of life when she was in her 50's, and she calculated how many days she had left until she was 80 years old, I believe. I did the math when I read that chapter, and it was sobering - a reminder that I need to make my days count for Him.

    Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday! :)

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  20. What an awesome number!! I'm in the neighborhood of 38 years...can't do the math but you get the point! Even when I have turned my back on Him, I still felt Him behind me, whispering, leading the way home. Even in my sin, I desire to be pleasing to Him. He has shown me these turning aways were important. Important so I'd realize I am already pleasing to Him. Made whole by His holiness. Not by the number of days I follow, not by the number of people I serve, not by anything I do but by everything I AM. I Am has made me pleasing. Don't you just love grace?? xoxo

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  21. What a beautiful testimony, Sharon! Thank you for sharing it with us at Testimony Tuesday! I might have to calculate my number too! :-)

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  22. Sharon, awesome post about an awesome God who loves an awesome woman. Love the points you made about what happens with His relationship with us as we walk with Him in our frailness. Freedom my sister, freedom thoughts you have written.

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  23. AMEN! God will never abandon us. Blessings!

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  24. BEST. POST. EVER.

    And it was sitting there waiting for me. I wonder how many times God just shook His hold head and thought about how much I would love and be blessed by this if I just sucked it up and ventured into my invisible comfort zone. Sigh.

    Though no one else may understand this, YOU will...


    Jazz hands!

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  25. And please, please pray. OK?

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  26. A beautiful testimony, Sharon. It's interesting, the way you wrote this, you can almost see how your faith grew and changed, and matured over the years. My favorite line (of several): "And I am making trouble in the ranks of those who defy the Living God, and who would love to defeat those He loves." Amen!

    Loved some of the comments you received on this one. They are an encouragement on top of encouragement! I hope you are encouraged today, my friend. God is smiling over you, the apple of His eye :)

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  27. I simply LOVE this post, Sharon! Wow! Thank you for the inspiration and encouragement! Thank you so much for joining our little family at Recommendation Saturday!! <3 Heart Hugs, Shelly

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  28. I'm so glad to be your neighbor again, this time at Janis's. I've been walking with Jesus about the same amount of days as you. Oh, how thankful I am that I've never walked alone!

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  29. Incredible to put a number translation to your years of choosing Christ...and such a practical one. Bless you as you continue to make the choice to walk with Him. Every. Day.

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  30. So thankful that He carries us throughout this walk. I know I haven't the strength to carry myself. Beautiful thoughts! I found your link over on Missional Women.

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  31. Hi Sharon! Walk on my friend, you are scaring the devil every day. Don't ever doubt it. If Jesus walks with you, you are covered! I know what you mean about some mornings, ugh. Not always fun. But even though it's not fun, it's safe and we are loved. GREATLY. We'll make it. Oh yes we will!!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  32. Oh I just love you, Sharon. I know it can take me too many days to stop by at times but I am ALWAYS blessed by what you share. You capture my attention in a way that's hard to explain. This was so, so good. Loved what you said about waking in the morning. Yes, let's scare that enemy of ours and keeping choosing to stay with God. Blessings to you, friend. I know I have more reading to catch up on here. :) xoxo

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  33. Wonderful, beautiful post, Sharon. I especially like your list of what it means to stay with Him, and your examples of people who scared the enemy by clinging to the Lord in times of trouble. I want to be that person who scares the enemy, too, but I have to remember always to draw my strength from the Lord; I know I don't have it within me without Him.

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"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)