by Kimberly Davidson

After graduating from college, I secured a coveted job as a pharmaceutical sales rep. Immediately management swooshed me off to Palo Alto, California for an intense 2-week training program. For a young girl from Iowa this meant V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, particularly because it was January. I was one of the youngest in the group, and can say I acted the least mature. Four years later at a regional training conference, I ran into one of the women I trained with. Her comment was something like, “I’m surprised to see you here! I never thought you would make it.” She had me pegged. Soon after this encounter I was fired.

Admittedly, I wasted the first 3 decades of my young adult life. Fortunately, those years represent only one bookend.  My story has another bookend. My life as a follower of Jesus Christ. What forms the bookends of our life stories? If somehow, we were measured at the beginning of our adult life, and again at the end, how would we be different? Would you say, “Cool! I can still fit into my wedding dress!” Or, would you be waiting for Jesus to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

God is always with us and challenging us to grow. I think of Judah in the Old Testament. First, Judah was not born into a position of honor, but it was bestowed upon his descendants. Second, Judah did not always live a righteous life; he was the one who persuaded his brothers to sell their youngest brother Joseph to the Ishmaelites—bookend #1. Yet, years later we see the tribe of Judah as the leading tribe, a position they would retain throughout rest of Scripture—bookend #2.

The same encouragement is offered to each of us. God has a special plan and place for each one of us. Even if we had a bad start, we can change and leave a legacy of “good.” God’s promise to us:

  • For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, TLB).
  • Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)!