I am lucky enough to share my birthday month with my son and with my niece (who is also my husband and I’s godchild)! We took this photo this past weekend while celebrating my son’s birthday.
Birthdays are such a special time where we let the person know how special they are to us and how glad we are that they are around to share time with us for another year. The person we are celebrating gets a feeling about how much they are cared for and loved. About a week ago it was my own birthday. Another niece of mine was going to miss my birthday celebration so she and my oldest daughter created this gem of a cake for me!
It was a sweet gesture to show me how much they cared for me enough to take out the time to create something so unique! I loved it and it tasted SUPER awesome as well!
Our birth days sometimes can remind us how we are getting one more year older, but I do like to think instead that it reminds me that I’m one more year wiser. That God gave me one more year to keep trying this “life” thing – trying to do more good works in his name. Once I had children it was so much fun to celebrate each of their growing years. To watch how much they’ve grown, how much they’ve learned, and/or what new things they’ve tried since the previous year.
I can recall each of my children’s birth days in vivid detail. I remember when childbirth was over and each of my children was laid into my arms for the very first time. How instantly in love I felt and how I knew that little person even without seeing them before. How I just knew that I would lay down my life for this soul – no questions asked – before even a word had passed between us. This was a love SO deep that it filled me and brought me to tears.
I know God’s love for me is far greater then the love I feel for my children. Not only did he plan for me, but he also gave up his own son so that my life could be saved. That is an awesome, powerful love!
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” – Jeremiah 1:5
I know that God’s love for me is so deep and powerful. However I still doubt that He cares so much for me – a sinner. Especially when I seem to mess up every. single. day. I get discouraged and down on myself when I repeatedly raise my voice with my kids, lose patience with my husband, or have selfish thoughts about my own time. How can God’s plan work through me when I seem to mess up so greatly?
In the book of Genesis chapter 22, is a story about Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham believed in God so strongly. He had waited for what seemed like forever for a child of his own. Once God provided him a son, Isaac, God then asked him to sacrifice his son. His one and only son, God was asking Abraham to sacrifice. Every time I read this chapter I’m struck by Abraham’s true love for his Father. Because of that great love for God, he moved forward with that request. We do come to discover that God didn’t want the sacrifice of Isaac – he wanted that deep devotion from Abraham which he proved was there.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”…The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” – Genesis 22:12, 15-18
I’m struck by these verses every time – because I put myself in Abraham’s place. I LOVE God, but could I have done the same thing? Could I have walked up the mountain with one of my three children?
I feel like I would’ve run away to hide from God instead. That because he was asking me to do something that was scary or out of my comfort, I would’ve run like Jonah did. You know the story from your childhood – Jonah getting eaten by the huge whale.
He did not want to follow God’s request so instead he ran. That’s when he was swallowed up by the whale. God however eventually led Jonah out of the whale and back to set about the task at hand that he was meant to fulfill. Open your bible’s to this old testament story. It’s only 4 chapters long. Read it today – not as this unbelievable biblical “kids” story, but instead as an adult yearning to follow God’s lead but scared enough to run away. Don’t we all flee as Jonah did in our own ways?
Even when I run from God, he patiently waits and reroutes my paths so that I will end up back on the task that I was meant to fulfill. Even when I sin and fall short of the Glory of God, he patiently waits and reroutes my paths so that I will end up back on the task that I was meant to fulfill. He will ALWAYS find a way for me. No matter what. I don’t ever have to worry that I’m going to mess something up so terrible because I didn’t listen or obey enough. God just does His thing and gets me back on track another way. He NEVER gives up on me. He loves me TOO much for that!
I rest in that comfort daily. Especially when I’m discouraged by my thoughts, words, or actions that day.
On this year’s birthday, I relished in celebrating me. I am a gift that God created. I fulfill God’s plan each day that I am here. Now THAT is something that doesn’t need wrapping or a bow!
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3