Today is my birthday. This morning around 8:45, with no fanfare or fuss, I completed my 54th trip around the sun and started my 55th. It doesn’t bother me to be 54 years old now or to let you know how old I am; attaining this age is a privilege that many people do not get to enjoy.
Celebrating this birthday, however, has been a struggle for me. Celebration of birthdays has never been a huge thing for me, but they are special days and I’m trying to learn how to celebrate them more effectively. I do this not only for my own birthday but also for the birthdays of people I love. I want them to know that I love them and am so enriched by their lives, but I don’t often know how to show it in meaningful ways, so I’m trying to learn that skill. (Thankfully, it’s never too late to learn something new!)
My desire to celebrate is complicated by the fact that I am currently estranged from several people who are the most dear to me. My heart aches, and leading up to this day, I only felt dread at trying to manufacture some sort of celebratory spirit. Celebration just doesn’t feel complete without them here.
However, the Lord gave me a re-direction on that point this morning. Just like when I celebrate my spiritual birthday, today isn’t about me and what I’ve done – it’s about what He has done.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalms 139:13-18)
Aren’t those verses amazing? When I meditate on them, I just become increasingly in awe that the God of the universe would put so much love and care into me and my life. Who am I that He would do such a thing? And yet it’s true.
So today, I’m celebrating! I’m thanking Him for this life and for the growth opportunities He gives me. I’m thanking Him for loving me so much. I’m thanking Him that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I am His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). He is good to me.