As many of my readers know, today is my birthday. I have greatly enjoyed the birthday wishes I received from my friends today, some in person, some via phone and email, and others via Facebook. One of my friends, however, decided to break tradition and left me the following message:

“No, I am not going to wish you a happy birthday. That would imply that every other day I am not as concerned with you being happy. Rather, I hope today is like every other day of the year. I hope today, like all others, you have your heart focused clearly on God, you are living at peace, are wrapped tightly in His love, and God’s greatness oozes out of every aspect of your life such that all who know you know God through you. I am praying for you always, and you have my deepest respect and love.”

I am blessed to have so many friends who took time out of their day to wish me happy birthday; I am even more blessed that God has put people in my life who are such great reminders of his unfailing love for me all year long. This message reminded me of a few verses from Psalms….
“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.
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,
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained before me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
-Psalms 139″13-16

My earthly birthday is  a wonderful opportunity to reflect. I have gone through many changes throughout my life, and I am sure I will go through many more changes in the years to come. Sometimes, it is overwhelming to think about how much things can change, and how quickly those changes can seem to happen to us. This is one of the many reasons that I consider my earthly birthday to be such a great reinforcement of God’s love and care for me. All throughout today my mind wandered….
‘Just as so many were joyful with the news of my earthly birth and as so many happily celebrate its annual day with me, how much more overjoyed is the Lord with every spiritual birthday? How much more does Heaven rejoice when we overcome both earthly and heavenly milestones?’

God knew me and loved me before I was even me. He has loved me even when I didn’t know who I was; He has loved me through my troubles and challenges. I can mess up and melt down and He still loves me. Just this knowledge alone is far better than any physical birthday gift I could ever receive.

Psalm 139 concludes with the following 2 verses:
‘Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.’

See, even today in this Psalm I was prompted to think about by my friend who made a point to NOT wish me a happy birthday (in the traditional sense, anyway), I am reminded of how indescribable God’s love is for me, and of how I can only truly follow Him if I let him search me, test me, and then change me. After all, He already knows how the rest of my story goes….
At His Feet,