(Scripture references as noted)
I just celebrated another birthday yesterday – the BIG 73! (Of course, they have all been the “BIG” ones for a number of years now, so this year was no exception to that!) But I have to say, I am thankful for every year that comes and goes now. It is hard to truly imagine myself as “mature” when most days I just do not feel like I should be this age.
I try not to reserve my times of reflection on my life only for birthdays, but when they roll around, it is a good nudge to think about my life – the good, the bad and the ugly. It can be too easy to get into a rut, depending on what is going on in my life – to dwell on just one phase. Things have been going well? Then just think about the good things and pretend I do not have to worry about any bad or ugly. Things have been going downhill? Then it is easy to fall into the trap of getting down and out and thinking things will never be the same again, that I am destined to just have negative in my life, forgetting about all the good that has been and that is yet to come.
However, there is no human alive that has ever had nothing but the upswing of life; and, we should always be grateful for the good times and relish them for all they are worth. Who does not enjoy the smooth roads rising up before them? On the other hand, there is no human alive that has ever lived with nothing but bad and/or ugly. Who in their right mind would welcome the difficulties life can throw at us? We have it all to deal with – the ups and downs – they are what mold us into the people that we become. How we handle those changes can make or break us. I believe that those more difficult times are where we can experience the most growth, depending on where we draw our strength to deal with them.
Over the last few months, I have discussed in previous articles some of the experiences I have had – good and bad. (If you missed them then you can go back and read about it.) When I look objectively at my life I have to say that I have had more smooth sailing than rough seas. I can easily recognize how some of those more difficult times shaped my way of thinking in such a way that a lot of really positive came out of them. There are some of the others that I still wonder why I had to go through them and honestly cannot figure out what I learned from them – but, I have to believe that there was a lesson in there somewhere. I also have to face reality and recognize that I had to suffer the consequences of my own bad choices.
All I know is, I am grateful to be alive and for the most part living a healthy lifestyle, living a life that is comfortable, joyful and so very blessed. I have so much to be thankful for – two wonderful children and a grandson; other family members that mean so very much to me; many great friends, etc.; and, I chose to do my best to stay positive and upbeat about what is yet to be.
Most of all, I am thankful that I know the God of creation in a personal way and know that He cares for me intimately, Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV) “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Jeremiah 1:5a (NLT) “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb…”
I know the God that created me and loves me enough to want only the best for me. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) “’For I know the plans I have for you,’” says the Lord. “’They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” Psalm 16:11 (NLT) “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
I try to lean on Him as He would have it to be, not in a helpless way, but in a way that I can draw strength and wisdom from Him. Depending on Him in a way that allows me to grow in my knowledge of how I should live my life. I would pray that I can be wise in the way I make decisions and in the way I handle all that comes my way. Godly wisdom is a key to all success. Proverbs 9:11 (NLT) “Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life.”
So, my belated birthday wish for myself is for God to grant me wisdom so that my days can be multiplied and years added to my life – allowing me to enjoy the blessings He has given me!
Written by Karran Martin – July 28, 2019