But I am trusting you, O Lord. I said, “You alone are my God; my times are in your hands.” Psalm 31:15(a) TLB
Yesterday was my 59th birthday. I had been thinking about this birthday for some time. Not to plan a party or festivities, but thinking of the blessing in it. You see, my oldest brother, Joseph, died when he was 39; my oldest sister, Jackie, died when she was 48; and my middle brother, Marvin, died when he was 57 – all lives shortened at young ages. Here I am blessed to have lived longer than my siblings; so my reflections on my birthday were, and still are, filled with much gratitude and thanksgiving.
In spite of the losses in my life and in spite of life’s disappointments and pain, I am thankful for the lessons I have learned and the wisdom gained through those lessons. Most of all I am thankful that life’s troubles taught me to trust (lean on, rely on and depend on) and obey God. (“Though He was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what He suffered, just as we do.” Hebrews 5:8). Therefore, I am grateful and thankful not for just being alive, but being content with my life (But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6). Grateful that I am comfortable in my own skin and that I like who I am, while in the process of becoming who He wants me to be. I am thankful to be in a place where I am not chasing anything or anybody. I am not chasing paper, nor am I chasing connections and greatness. I am satisfied knowing that the great One resides on the inside of me, and it is His greatness that will be revealed through me. (…greater is He that is in you… 1 John 4:4). Also thankful that I no longer wonder where God is during personal struggles and crises, because I know where He is – He is always with me (…I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20). Grateful for truly knowing and understanding, that “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31(b).
I am truly thankful for a clear mind and a clear heart. Grateful that I am not confused nor am I lost. Thankful that I believe and trust that all is well in my life, not because every promise has been fulfilled, but because I trust the one that promised (Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]. Hebrews 10:23). And I know and am confident that He is able to keep those things that I have committed to Him (…for I know [perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with] Him whom I have believed [adhered to and trusted in and relied on], and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12).
The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20