You know how much I love birthdays, Lord! And You know why.
Birthdays are a celebration of Your precious Gift of Life! I didn’t always feel that way. Some years, it was all I could do to “hold on” and make it through to the next one. I certainly didn’t feel like celebrating.
You changed all that, Lord.
“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me… In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears… He reached down from on high and took hold of me… He rescued me from my powerful enemy…” (Psalm 18:4,6,16a,17a)
You changed it all when You met me on my downhill slope, turned me around and set me on a path heading uphill. (Funny how You were able to do that long before I knew You or knew You cared).
You changed it all on my most important “birthday” — the one when I finally (at age 35+) opened the door of my heart to You and fell in love May 20, 1987 — the day I really came alive.
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:12)
You changed it all yet again in 2011 when You led me into — and out of — the Valley of the Shadow of cancer. When You gave me a glimpse of how fragile and uncertain Life can be.
“… the Lord was my support. He brought me into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:18b-19)
Yesterday, I completed 64 years on Earth! Thanks to Your Amazing Grace, Lord, and more than a few literal miracles along the way.
Twenty-four years ago, when I was 40 years old, You prompted me to give myself a Special Gift every year. The Special Gift of an annual physical with all appropriate blood tests and other diagnostics. I used to love those annual reports! Every year, like clockwork, they told me: “You couldn’t be healthier! See you again next year!”
The one I had in my 59th year was no different. But just a few months later, my healthy streak came to a grinding halt… at least, for awhile. But that’s another story…
Yesterday, You prompted me to add a different “Special Gift’ to my annual physical — a spiritual “physical” with its own set of appropriate “tests” and “diagnostics.”
As a result, I will never be the same.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
I don’t always “like” seasons like this, Abba. The moral inventory alone requires a level of fearless transparency that can be as exhausting as it is painful. But I can be fearless because of You… can’t I, Lord?
There’s something deeply profound and reassuring about being able to be totally real with someone. With someone who will love me not just because of who I am, but also in spite of who I am. Which “someone” could be better suited than the Someone who loves me enough to meet me wherever I am… and loves me enough to not leave me there?
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again… and you will… go out to dance with the joyful.” (Jeremiah 31:3bc-4)
You showed me a lot yesterday, Lord. Too much to share in this one post. But share, I will… as I begin to walk out yesterday’s Life Lessons. For now, I am soaking in the beautiful Truth that today really IS the first day of the rest of my one-and-only life.
Thanks to You, my Life is already better than it was yesterday. And it will continue to be, as long as I follow wherever You are leading me, Lord… one choice at a time.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” (Ephesians 3:20)