Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Another Birthday. Another Year.

Yes, sorry guys.. another birthday post. But this is for real. James will be back tomorrow. He's on a break. Like Ross and Rachel.

This past week I celebrated my 30th birthday. This is a milestone birthday, as you transition out of the playfulness of the 20s and into what most what call  a more mature 30s. I think I'm caught somewhere in between. I am thankful for the many friends and family who helped me celebrate. I love birthdays. Not just my own, but anyone I know. I like to make people feel special, and birthdays are just the day to celebrate.

However, for some (and maybe even you), birthdays are dreaded. We don't think about the celebration or the cake. We don't think about the friends who want to spend time with us. We don't think about the promise or newness or maturity that comes with a birthday. Instead, it is one more year added to the age. It's a closer step to wrinkles or aching joints or memory loss. It's the grey hair. It could even be looked at as a closer year to death.

I certainly realize that I am only 30.  Yet, some of those thoughts used to plague my mind. Even though I was celebrating my birthday in such a fun way, it would be the quiet moments where I began to think similar thoughts. I started thinking that one year meant a closer approach to death. It is odd for me to admit that I was thinking these things when I was only twenty or twenty-three or twenty- seven years old. By God's grace, He has snatched me out of what we could call a birthday pity party and shown me the wonderfulness and beauty of another year. The bells and whistles stop after the 24 hours of celebration, but a mindset focused towards the coming year and all that is in store will last. Birthdays are meant to celebrate the person, but I now see how they are meant to be celebrated in light of being a child of God. 

A birthday is His grace towards us in allowing us to walk with Him for another year.
It is His grace in allowing us to grow in our relationship with Him.
It is His grace in drawing us closer to Him.
It is His grace in allowing another year to share our faith with others. 
It is His grace towards us in allowing us to learn from His Word.
It is His grace to lead us for another year and show us His faithfulness. 
It is His grace in providing another year for our praise and worship of Him.
It is His grace to give us another year where we can learn of His sufficiency and provision.
It is His grace to allow us to walk another year in trusting Him and grow in that trust.
A birthday is His grace in growing us in the knowledge of who He is.

Yes, there is a cake. There are balloons. There are friends and neatly wrapped gifts. But, there is also grace - grace for another year to know Him and love Him more than we did last year. And that, my friends, is reason enough to celebrate adding a year to the age.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights..." James 1:17
"But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18
"Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving." Colossians 2:6-7

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