This morning, I was tempted as I remembered the days when birthdays shared were about family celebrations in special places with special meals, and about being made to just feel special.
This morning, I was tempted to go back and read an old Blog post I had written about one of those celebrations when we were together. It was “a bright, beautiful warm day with the lake reflecting the lovely blue hues of the sky,” (Mom’s words.) She had written to tell me she was sorry that it had been a day about me giving to them when they had hoped to be the ones giving to me. Dad had pneumonia, Mom, cancer. She wanted that day to be different.
This morning, I was tempted to find that Birthday card with her lovely words and handwritten script. I wanted to hold it in my hands, to touch and smell, to feel her close to me.
But instead, I opened my Bible.
It was a little bit of a struggle, but not too bad. It was the perfect way to begin the day as I read: “…You have laid your hand upon me, such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty to attain,” from Psalm 139 (verses 5 and 6). And there began my Devotions and time in the Word and just sitting still.
Being in God’s Presence.
You might remember, when I turned 50, I asked God to make me into a woman of God. That was a challenging decade. This morning, I was feeling bold and feisty and after all these years since then, I asked that He would make me into a mighty woman of God. I know, get ready, right? That’s a weighty prayer. But there’s still work to do, I know this full well, and I can’t do it without Him.
I’m grateful to have made it to 68. It’s hard to believe. I don’t feel my age, not even on my worst days. I can only attribute that to one thing. It’s not about eating well and exercising, although we all know that’s important. I do my best. It’s not about cosmetic makeovers and died hair, although that might help. But none of that will make an enduring difference if we don’t have that One thing: the Hope of glory, God the Son living in us by the power of His Spirit. Hope is a Person, not a feeling, Hope, for me, is Jesus.
Hope has redeemed my life.
Hope has restored my life.
Hope renews me daily and keeps me moving forward from the inside out.
Then, and only then, after having read from the Word, prayed over it, wept, mostly with joy but also some sadness, I opened Mom’s card.
“May all the memories you put on paper be a living testimony for your love of life and living for Him.” Her words to me. It was just one of many special birthdays we’d shared. She always made them special because she was so special.
This morning, I was reminded we don’t need birthdays to feel special. We don’t need to do anything. To be special, we need to be in God’s Presence. To be still and know He is God. It begins there. In Him, I move and breathe and find my purpose in order to be in the flow.
Through God’s grace, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me,” the Psalmist writes. (138:8)
I am here, where God has placed me, doing what He has given me to do, in the way He has shown me to do it. When it needs to be done in new ways, I am confident He will prompt me to do it His way.
All results are in His hands.
God who loves us as an expression of His own creative work, is everywhere, approving the work He is doing through us. He has positioned Himself at the center of every being. He is over all His works and whatever He does, He does perfectly.
So, we will not lose Hope.
It’s so easy for me to second guess myself and ask if I am doing enough. It’s important then to remind myself to ask Him. He will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go…Psalm 32:8
We are here, where God has placed us, doing what He has given us to do, in the way He has shown us to do it. When it needs to be done in new ways, He will prompt us to do it His way.
Being here, in God’s Presence, I find my purpose then follow. First things first. In order to do His work well, I find it happens in that order.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10