Psalm 118: 24 …. we will rejoice and be glad in it’.
It was my birthday this week. Normally leading up to my birthday I get a little nervous in anticipation of how others are going to celebrate the day. How will the family surprise me? Did they take the gift hints that were sent their way?
I love my birthday; the actual date seems a day that stands out from the rest. This year was different for many reasons, the main being that it is a lockdown birthday, a birthday without a party, a birthday without as much fuss, amazingly a birthday without any expectations!
It turned out to be one of the best birthday’s I’ve ever had because it ended up being a birthday not about me.
This birthday I prayed that I wouldn’t have expectations of others. With encouragement from my eldest I asked for the gift I would like rather than expect a surprise. There were even a number of gifts that I selected myself for others to give. This seems to be the opposite of what a birthday should be; the expectation that our birthday should be about the birthday person, that it is their special day to stand out and be spoilt.
What I was particularly surprised about was the realisation that I had never given thanks to God for my birth on my birthday. I had often given thanks to God for the life he breathed into me, for giving me the opportunity for being here but I had never reflected on the actual day that 9 months earlier he had knit me together in my Mother’s womb, he had planned the day I would be born.
In this moment of thankfulness, I also realised that my birthday was never just about me, but it was always meant to be a family event, a time to be thankful for the family that God had placed me in, and it is through those relationships that God is refining me and making me whole. It is through the ups and downs of relationships that cause me to turn to Him as Father to seek his best for me rather than demand or expect something from others.
And somehow through all this the gifts seemed more thoughtful; the cards seem more remarkable than usual.
As the family were relaxing with the tv wallpaper for background a picture of tulips came on. Our youngest daughter remarked that those were my favourite flowers, which I was surprised she knew which encouraged my heart. I was explaining that tulips and daffodils are my favourite spring flowers. Then there was a knock at the door, it was our eldest daughter and granddaughter with a bunch of daffodils which warmed my heart, then not long after my Mum knocked on the door with two bunches of daffodils, I was so grateful for God’s abundant blessings when the door went again. This time it was a dear friend with a bunch of tulips.
I was left in awe and wonder for God’s provision, as it is seen in these small, wonderful moments of care and love we demonstrate to one another.
May we all continue to shower God’s blessings. to share the abundant joy of being created by Him for Him as he showers us with the gift of one another.