It was fascinating the things I found while cleaning out the drawer of my bedside table – assorted buttons, pens, paper clips, rubber bands, CDs and random pieces of paper. One of those pieces of paper was a page from a desktop calendar. It was dated February 13 my birthday. My first reaction was why did I save this? Where did this come from? As I read it I instantly understood why I had saved it. The full date was February 13, 2002 Wednesday Ash Wednesday and the message was exactly what I needed to hear on that date “may those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” Psalm 126:5 NRSV
You see February 13, 2002 was my first birthday since my husband had died 5 months earlier. At that time, I was doing life on autopilot. I was keeping it to together with the help of my faith, family and friends. God was allowing me to walk after carrying me in His loving arms. Reading “God’s capacity for restoring life is beyond our understanding ” gave me hope. Finding that calendar page the other day reminded me of how far God has brought me.
As I celebrate my birthday today I am grateful for the life I have in Christ. I am blessed beyond measure because of Jesus. God is good. He can be trusted no matter what is happening. He is faithful even when I am not. My prayer is God’s reminder to me is also an encouragement to you.
“God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too- your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can’t take it all in! Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you. Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them— any more than I could count the sand of the sea. Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you! And please, God, do away with wickedness for good! And you murderers—out of here!— all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations.See how I hate those who hate you, God; see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred. Your enemies are my enemies! Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.”
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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