This past week, I turned 40 years old; wow, that’s how long the Israelites wandered in the desert. The number 40 is tied to the themes of “probation, trial, and chastisement.”  Hopefully I am on the other side of the probation and chastisement and not just beginning them, yikes!
That got me thinking of how Lehi’s people wandered for 8 years and how “it is the number specially associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order.”  That makes a lot of sense seeing how they were starting a completely new civilization in the promised land.
Both the 40 and the 8 year periods for these groups could be called a refining time as well. Maybe refining is always necessary before some of the greatest blessings.
God seems to use time, or at least, our heavy observation of it, to refine us. God has allowed years and years to slip away before certain answers to prayers have come.
In retrospect, the answer to one particular prayer would not have been as impactful if I had received it earlier.
Time needed to pass, things needed to happen so that when the answer came, I could understand the full meaning of it. But God doesn’t tell us, “I’ll tell you in X years” or “after this or that happens, then I will tell you.”
I don’t think he tells us this because he doesn’t need to, he’s God and we just need to discover ways to know and trust him. I think life is perfectly configured for just that.
In my early years, it was all youth and no wisdom and near the end, it will be all wisdom and no youth. Here at 40 years old, maybe my youth to wisdom ratio is close to even. I’m young enough to still have fun but old enough not to try anything too stupid.
While I have come a long way, I feel like I am just beginning a new journey. I am looking forward to the future, seeing my kids grow up, experiencing new things, deepening my relationship with God, and whatever surprises manifest themselves.