Forty is a symbolic number in the Bible. You can find it from the Old Testament to the New. Rain came for forty days and forty nights. Forty years signifies the rising of a new generation. Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai receiving the Torah. There were also three forty-year periods in his life. The Jews wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness fasting and being tested.
Forty is the number of testing.
I say all of this because this year, 2019, marks my fortieth year of walking with Jesus! And what a time of testing it has been! Nonetheless, I’m stilling pressing in and rolling down the narrow road.
I thank God He has called me and guided me and often times carried me.
All that I’ve seen in the past forty years, the wonderful and masterfully woven tapestry of my life, for me there’s no denying that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the Son wants to be intimately involved in every area of my life. I’ve seen miracles and healings over the decades. I’ve known great suffering and heartbreak, too. The saddest day of my life was when my mother died back in 1985. I’ve held the anticipation of marriage as well as the defeat of divorce. I’ve been ill most of my life with one complication or other. I’ve had a tubal pregnancy in my first marriage which left me never able to have children.
My life has been rich and the canvas full of color and texture, though.
Over forty years I’ve moved at least forty times! My journey has taken me from the suburbs of Chicago to Arizona, to Boston, to Florida, to New Jersey and over to Colorado to live. I lived on a sail boat in the Greek Isles and then over in Bavaria. I volunteered at a Christian campground on the Isle of Wight where I met my husband, which brought me to England to live, and then Spain.
I’ve traveled to over sixty countries across six continents which has supplied a good flavor of the world. With the spirit of wanderlust going strong, I don’t think the tally is complete. And I suspect I won’t live in Spain forever.
I’ve worked as a hostess. I’ve worked in a photo hut. I’ve worked as a nurse, as well as a dental assistant. I worked for the airlines and then became disabled where I took a part-time job at a surf shop on an island in the Gulf Coast. I’ve been a freelance journalist sporadically, too. As previously stated, I lived on a sail boat in Greece where I volunteered my time on a ministry ship teaching people how to sail.
I fell in love with the German deck hand and moved to Germany. We were supposed to marry and I briefly returned to Chicago to prepare for my future in Germany when a week before he was coming over to ask my father for my hand, he dumped me via email! Licking my wounds as a volunteer leader at a beautiful Christian Family Holiday Centre above the bay in the cliffs on the Isle of Wight, I was sure that I was safe there in the camp of conservative Christians whom I found rather dull.
I never expected my rebel looking husband to sweep me off my feet there. But he did. The next thing I knew, I was married and living in Oxfordshire for a guy who made racing cars for Motorsport along with two of his three children, both rebellious teenagers. This part of the road was rocky and quite unpleasant. I never found my happy place in England, and my body revolted against the humidity and we had to move, ending up in Spain.
That is where I sit to give you a wrap up of my past forty years. The ups and downs. I have come to understand that the material things in this life are not real. They will fade away. It’s what we do with our time and how we handle the tests in our lives that we will take with us into eternity. How much of God do we allow in our lives? Does He have all of me? Each big decision I make, I take into account how it will reflect upon God, whom I serve. Will it give Him glory? Or will it shame Him? How will this effect my position in eternity? Am I storing up treasures, rewards in Heaven?
I hope so! Otherwise, it’s all just vanity and chasing after the wind, which by the way is futile. It can’t be caught, stored or measured.
Over the course of the year, I’m celebrating in spirit, in word and in deed! It’s been forty years that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I wouldn’t want to do most of it over, but I wouldn’t want to lose or exchange what I’ve gained.
I have learned so much about the Creator of the Universe by seeking after Him. It’s incredible to think about just how much there is to know and discover. And while I’ll have all eternity to do just that, If I get to carry on down this amazing and blessed road another forty years, that’s just fine with me.
Written by Jori Sams