Forty and Rich

May 22, 2020

My mom had a few pet verses she liked to quote at her children. I say “quote at” because that is what it felt like at 15 when the posture of my heart revealed itself in eye rolls, crossed arms, and loud sighs. Among those pet verses was Luke 12:48: “to whom much has been given, much more shall be required.” Truthfully, I never understood why that particular verse warranted constant repetition. However, on my 40th birthday, it is this verse—spoken in my mother’s voice—which returns to me with new and profound understanding. 

I have been given much. Materially, for sure. But spiritually—I can’t even begin to quantify the spiritual riches that have been lavished on me. Today, if any virtue or wisdom is found in me, it is because of God’s generosity to his children.

He first knitted me together in my mother’s womb, creating my physical life. But even more miraculously, he breathed spiritual life into my heart when as a little girl I came to Jesus, asking him to wash me clean from my sins and to deliver me from their consequences. From those earliest days, God has not ceased to invest the riches of his grace in me…

Beginning with my parents who faithfully stewarded the gift of parenthood. They took the riches of God’s grace and invested deeply in their children—costly investments that did not yield immediate results, but like bonds have matured over time.

Many others have invested in me as well. Such as:

The pastor’s wife who opened I John to me as a little girl and showed me that I can have absolute confidence that I am a child of God.

The college professor who encouraged his students to read through the Bible every year.

The pastor whose church pews I warmed for 6 years during college and grad school. This man weekly brought out treasures from his storehouse, freely investing them in all the people crowding the sanctuary. This was my first experience with expositional preaching, and I could not get enough. He preached long sermons, but I sat riveted to my seat where I frantically scribbled notes on bulletins, offering envelopes, and the margins of my Bible—anywhere I could find space—as God began to fan into flame the many investments of his grace. 

There was the philosophy professor who challenged me to think deeply and to really understand an idea before dismissing it.

And another prof who taught me to write precisely.

There have been older women who encouraged me to teach, and then gave me opportunities to do so.

My husband—outside of Jesus, God’s best gift to me—who among other investments, shares his advanced education and library with me.

The children who fill our home with fun, noise (so much noise!) and abundant (too many!) opportunities to grow in godliness.

Pastors who have encouraged me to continue writing and teaching.

Friends—old and new, near and far—who have sharpened me with truth and modeled what it is to live by faith. Where would I be without their investments?

I am grateful for these generous investors who have happily opened up their treasuries of spiritual wealth and allowed me to take and take and take some more, filling my own coffers to overflowing. Though I am not yet what I should be (or even wanted to be by 40), thanks to their generosity, I am not what I was. 

With such spiritual riches now in my bank, I too must give. How can I enjoy such wealth and turn a blind eye to the poverty around me? How can I hoard the bread of life while my neighbors starve? How can I drink living water to my fill while others thirst and die around me? God’s riches demand to be shared. 

This year brings more change—a new city, a new church, and lots of new people. I don’t feel the adventure of it all like I did at 30, and I’m not buzzing with excitement like I was at 35, but I’m richer now. I am more persuaded than ever of God’s love for his children. I believe with all my heart that God’s ways are good. I know with a new certainty that he will continue to nurture the spiritual life he began in me thirty something years ago. And by his grace, I’ll spend the next 40 years opening up my treasury of spiritual wealth, allowing others to share in the riches I have been given.

You Might Also Like

  • Christy May 22, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Just beautiful. Thanks for writing and sharing, birthday girl.

  • Conni Devore May 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    I just love your posts and insights. Have you written any books? You should. 💕

  • Joel May 23, 2020 at 2:54 am

    Great post! Thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful piece.

    • Asher Compton May 29, 2020 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Mom, that was sweet.

  • Asher Compton May 29, 2020 at 8:27 am

    Thanks Mom, that was sweet.

  • Heather June 21, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Well written, old friend.