I am writing this on my 40th birthday. I know right!? How does Steve look so young and wise at the same time?? Birthdays are signposts to the life that we lead. They are moments to reflect and rejoice. Reflecting is not my strength, and sometimes rejoicing or celebrating does not come naturally either. But these are good practices because they challenge us to see things from a different perspective. My life has been good. There have been seasons of difficulty, but overall after each year, I can look back and recall with joy the faithfulness of God.
Regardless of the pain or ease of life, God remains faithful. Will we take the time to remember His faithfulness? David, a man who endured much pain but who also celebrated many victories took time to reflect and rejoice. He said in Psalm 16:10-11:
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
David acknowledges that there are seasons where he feels as though he is being led to the foot of death’s door, but God loves us so much that He gives us the opportunity to experience life to the full by offering Himself to us, to walk with us through life’s difficulties.
Oftentimes when we do not take time to reflect and rejoice, we become susceptible to have the joy of the Lord stolen from us. The apostle John said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) When we lose sight of God’s nearness, we drift and become vulnerable. Because of this I like to take advantage of birthdays and anniversaries to reflect on God’s presence in my life.
Whether it is because you are just starting a new year or maybe you are waxing nostalgic because you have traveled one more trip around the sun, my encouragement is to take a moment to reflect and rejoice on the life you have walked thus far. Try to see and celebrate the ways God has brought you through. Maybe recommit to seeking Him out and follow His path of lovingkindness to others.
David again says and sets a great example for all of us as to what our aim should be: “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.” (Psalm 104:33) He reflects… A new song is born! He rejoices… Thanksgiving is near to his lips! As long as I live, my hope is that at the end of each year I can reflect and rejoice over the goodness of God.