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40 Years- More Than Just A Number

As we continue in our 40th year and begin our 41st, we want to take moments to reflect. Our new board president reflected on some ways God has provided this year for our school. Now we would like to reflect on God’s provision over the last 40 years. Below is a devotional written by Ken Johnson, one of the school’s founders.

40 Years – More Than Just A Number

by Ken Johnson, President Emeritus, Penobscot Christian School Association

At the first teacher meeting of this school year, I was invited to provide the morning devotional. As I was preparing it, my thoughts were drawn to the start of another school year. The year was 1980 when PCS first opened its doors. 1980 – 40 years ago this month. As I thought about the beginning of PCS, I reflected on the wonderful work God has done over these 40 years. 40 years! What an incredible milestone! Then the number 40 itself got me thinking even more. As I thought about it some more, I realized that what was drawing me to the number 40 was the fact that 40 is a very significant number in Scripture. In fact, it appears 144 times in the Bible.

However it is not the number of times it appears in Scripture that makes it so important, but rather it is what the number 40 so often symbolizes that caused me to stop and ponder its significance today in the life of PCS as we start our 40th year.

I studied the topic a bit more and found that in the Bible the number 40 frequently represented a period of testing, trial, preparation or promise. Here are some examples in no particular order:

  • Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years

  • Moses was on the mountain in the presence of God fasting for 40 days and 40 nights

  • Noah endured the Flood for 40 days and 40 nights

  • Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights before he faced the temptation of the devil

  • Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent

  • Moses sent spies into the Promised Land for forty days and forty nights

  • The prophet Elijah went forty days and nights without food or water while on Mount Horeb.

  • Jesus appeared to his disciples and others for forty days after His resurrection

  • When Israel disobeyed God, He gave them over to their enemies for forty years

  • King Saul reigned over Israel for forty years as did David and Solomon as well

As I thought about the number 40 in Scripture, I also was thinking about what I was doing at this time 40 years ago. I was knee-deep, side-by-side with the other founding members in a mad scramble to get our new school building ready for PCS’s first opening day. Much like what we’ve all been doing again right now this month 40 years later.

As I reflected over these 40 years, I realized that the significance of the number 40 in Scripture has been clearly seen in the life of PCS. Testing, Trial, Preparation and Promise has been our experience year after year. It is humbling to see how the Lord has carried us through every test and every trial while preparing us for the next ones and being ever-true to his promise never to leave us or forsake us.

This year PCS faces new trials that it has never faced before, but we must remember that God knew we would be facing them. Over the past 40 years God has been all the while preparing us for what He knew would come. Praise the Lord! God’s hand has so clearly been on this school over the years raising up just the right people like you at the right time to do the work of prospering this ministry. I marvel that God has let me be a part of it and I thank God for each of you and your continuing commitment to PCS.

As we look ahead from here, let us here at PCS continue walking in the same way we have over the past 40 years - the way that is captured so simply in the words of Proverbs 3: 4-6:

4 So you will find favor and good success

in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

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