The Gift of a Birthday

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  James 1:17

I recently celebrated my 45th birthday. That just doesn’t seem possible. How has four and a half decades flown by so quickly? To some 45 seems old, to others, a number they wish they could go back to. It is funny how that as each year passes by, our perspective starts to change on age. As I sat here pondering the years gone by, it is easy to be saddened by the realization that half my life is already gone. I find that if I am not careful, I can easily get sucked into the thoughts of things that could have been, places I should have seen, adventures still unchecked on my list. But the past is the past. No sense dwelling on it because you can’t go back and change it. All we have is the present. So, I turn my thoughts onto what is ahead. My goals that are still attainable. The life still left to be lived. Memories to be made. Family to be loved. Sights to be seen.

Birthdays should be a time of celebration and too often as we get older, we just see them as another sign of us gaining ground on getting more wrinkles, more gray hairs, and more aches and pains. We can often reflect back and wonder where did the time go? What all have I accomplished in this life that God has given me?

 I recall in my earlier years the anticipation of birthdays. The excitement of the gifts, cake, and ice cream to be had. The gathering of friends and family. Something happens to that excitement as we get older. It seems to fade and our attitude starts to be more of like, meh… another day and another year…. dare I say it, another year older. That can make some of us cringe with drudgery. Another year gone, more time that has slipped away. A time to reflect on all we didn’t do or accomplish that was at once on our to do list. But birthdays should be a day we celebrate. It is a gift from God to be given another hour, day, or year. A blessing some don’t receive.

 l have learned to be intentional with my perspective when it comes to my birthday. I try to focus on the good, and there is always GOOD in our lives. Don’t let the enemy make you think otherwise.  A few years back, I saw the life of a classmate just dwindle away due to the ravaging cancer that was destroying her body. She was a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend to many. She made her journey with cancer public through her social media pages. She used this dark valley as a time to let her light shine for her Lord and shine she did. Though to some it may appear she lost the battle to cancer here on earth, I can’t even imagine what all she gained when she stepped into heaven and the same Jesus she testified about was awaiting her with arms wide open. It was during this time that I really understood each day is a precious gift. Each moment with loved ones is a treasure.  Each day that we wake up and get out of the bed and go on about our day doing what we want without any physical or mental limitations was a blessing indeed. She has been gone for a few years now, but the impact of how she lived still has an affect on me. I know she touched many lives. Butterflies were her thing, so when I see them now, I think of her. I think of her testimony and her love for Jesus. I want to leave a Godprint like that when I leave this world for my heavenly home. I want people to say, yep that lady loved Jesus and her life was proof of it.

Never underestimate the impact you have on people. Yes, birthdays may make you reflect back on time and cause you to regret things you have or haven’t done, but I bet all that time wasn’t wasted. If your still alive and breathing, you still have a purpose. God is not done with you. You have made people smile, showed kindness to a stranger, gave when you didn’t have much to give. They may be small acts to you, but they still ripple out to those around you. Each day we are given a tremendous opportunity. May we each strive to live fuller, love bigger, and let our lights shine even brighter. What we do matters.  We all have a purpose here for God’s kingdom. No matter the age, no matter the experience, no matter the skin color, or no matter what you may have done in past. Seek his guidance and follow his leading in your life. Be obedient to what he has put on your heart. You won’t regret it. Live a life that is pointing others to Christ. It is the only life worth living.

 

Keep moving forward,

Hayley W

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