Birthday Blessings

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I’m participating in Bible Study Fellowship this year and I was supposed to have read each day last week so that I could participate in today’s discussion. Notice I said, “supposed to.” I was traveling and enjoying all that Thanksgiving had to offer and I didn’t read. At all. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t too excited about trying to read through five chapters of 1 Samuel in the one hour I have between dropping the kids off at school and meeting my small group. While the last few weeks have been incredibly educating, sometimes the reading can be exhausting.

I was crazy excited when I pulled up the notes in Starbucks and saw that the Bible Study took a break from 1 Samuel and instead focused on Psalms. Psalms are beautifully poetic and easy to understand. They are also short. I could totally do this! Even better, the first Psalm I was supposed to have read is my favorite. What’s funny is that I should have read it last Friday, but God knew I wouldn’t and I’d be reading it today. Today is my birthday. As I read through the familiar chapter, it was as if I was reading a birthday card from the Father. Words that have become common after having memorized them were suddenly new. God was reminding me of His love that’s specific to me and all the gifts He gives to me on a daily basis. On my birthday He was reminding me of His gift of life and the gift of His constant presence.

Psalm 139:1 says,

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God knows me better than I know myself. How is it that I sometimes don’t trust Him when His plans for me will be better than what I could come up with on my own?

Psalm 139:14 says,

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I have God to thank for everything I am.  His gift of life is like one of those giant boxes that after I open it, I find another box hidden inside.  God gave me life, He gave me talents, He gives me time each day with the people I love.

In verse 16 David reminds us of God’s foresight.

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I love that God knew how I would spend my day today. He knew that I would get to participate in a Bible study with other woman who are seeking to know Him more. He knew that I’d have lunch with my husband and that he’d take me to my favorite chocolate shop for ridiculously expensive, but incredibly delicious truffles. God saw me cleaning my house as I sang Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” at the top of my lungs as I attempted to justify Michael and the kids taking me out for dinner later all the while thankful that the neighbors live too far away to hear me belting out profanities.  God watched me having a dance party with my kids in the living room and laughed at me and Matthew’s goofy whiteness and marveled at Lindsay’s ability to make up impromptu dance moves.

This also means that I can trust God with tomorrow and every other “unbirthday.”  For Him, it doesn’t matter that tomorrow isn’t my “special day.”  He has promised to be with me wherever I go.  This is amazing news!  I like how the King James Version says it best.  These were actually the first verses I memorized on my own because of how beautiful they sounded rolling off my tongue.

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While God’s constant presence is something to rejoice over, I realize that sadly it means  He is with me even when I don’t acknowledge Him.  What would it feel like to have someone leave a gift I had given him unopened?  How many times have I done that to God?

I want to cherish the gifts I’ve been given.  No one has given me more than God.  I don’t just want to know He’s given me these gifts, I want to intentionally open His gifts each day, starting by recognizing His presence in my life.

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