A hundred thousand years ago, back when I first accepted Christ, I didn’t have any sort of inkling about what it meant to dedicate my life.
I was a kid, after all. What did I know?
Then I grew up, got married, and had children.
There’s something about committing to live the rest of your life — till death do you part — with another person that helps you understand dedication. Not to mention that day you hold a screaming bundle of beautiful baby in your arms and realize you would die to protect that little person. Then day in and day out, you feed, change diapers, bathe, nurse, and teach that child. Now, that’s dedication.
What, though, does that same dedication look like when we apply it to God?
Hm. I’d love to give you a blanket answer, but the truth is, I think God asks something different of each of us. Not because God is different, not because He changes…but because you and I are different and because we change.
As a relatively young mother, when I reached a point where I decided that “being saved” wasn’t quite enough for me, I dedicated my life to living for God. What that looked like then was very different than what it looks like now. It meant teaching my children about Jesus, setting a godly example in my own home, making sure we were faithful in church, and honoring God in how we lived our lives — from parenting to marriage to finances.
I’ve grown a lot in the intervening years. Thirteen of them, more or less. During that time, I’ve loved deeply, and I’ve lost painfully. I’ve seen God do wonderful and miraculous things, and I’ve been on the receiving end of a “No” that I don’t expect to fully understand until I get to heaven. I’ve learned to trust Him in the daylight and when I’m blinded by the darkness of night.
Today, when I think of the word dedication in relation to God, it paints an entirely different picture on the landscape of my mind than it once did. Now, it means understanding the immeasurable mercy He’s shown me and loving Him enough to share that mercy with others. It means studying the life of Christ so that I can be more like Him, serving my fellow man, and doing it all with joy. It means accepting that that bad comes with the good and knowing that the life we live here on this earth is a tiny miniscule snapshot of who we are and what our eternity will look like. It means laying it all down for God, holding nothing back from Him, and letting Him invade every single part of my life, heart, and mind.
And I imagine that in another thirteen years, I’ll have an entirely different explanation for what dedication to God looks like. Because as much as I feel like I’m in a good place with God right now, I don’t want to stay here. I want to keep growing closer to Him every single day for the rest of my life. I want to live a life dedicated to Him.
What about you? What does dedication to God look like in your life? How has that changed over the years?