Between the ages of 18 and 28, I knew absolutely everything. I knew how to lead a Church, be successful in ministry, have a healthy marriage, raise Godly children, and live the life God desired of me. The only problem was that I had done none of those things. However, I had a college degree, lots of secondhand experience, and all the confidence in the world.
With each passing year of my life, I have realized how little I know. My first full-time ministry kicked me in the teeth and left me stunned by the blow. I have never achieved any level of success in ministry as I am little known outside of the Church I lead. Marriage proved to be far more complicated than I imagined as my wife and I try to take two unique individuals and make them one couple. Raising children is a roller coaster ride that will not stop even as they head into their adult lives. The mistakes I have made are far more numerous than I hoped. Sin grabbed me by the throat and refused to let go of me. Even when I get victorious in one area of my Christian life, another struggle begins, and the evil one smiles as he flips over and repositions his grip. The failures have been far more numerous than the successes.
This morning I looked in the mirror at the wrinkles on my face, the crow’s feet by my eyes, and the ever-decreasing amount of hair on my head and wondered where that overly confident boy went. He has long since faded into a middle-aged man who seems to know extraordinarily little about life.
One thing has drastically changed through the years beyond my appearance. My faith is more significant to me than ever. The more I realize I have little I truly know, the more I am forced to depend on God. I spend less time patting myself on the back and more time on my knees, pleading with God to work through my incompetence. I am not sure how to lead a Church, know I will never be successful, unsure why my wife would stay with me, hurt over my children’s decisions, and feel the pain of my stupidity, but I am confident that God will somehow use me.
The younger version of me would be embarrassed by who I have become today. But the current version of me is happier than ever. I feel less stress as I throw all my burdens on God. I lean into his strength and knowledge and not my own. Faith has taught me to enjoy the good times, be surprised at the successes, and smile about all God is doing despite my inadequacies. The older I get, the less I know, but the more I trust the one who knows everything.