I recently turned 40 years old. My birthday was filled with phone calls and emails wondering about my AARP status, whether or not I was going to Denny's for the senior citizen's discount, and even someone wondering what the dinosaurs were like. Great friends I have, 'eh.
The day started off with my kids sneaking into our bedroom to wake me up with the traditional "Happy Birthday" song. They came bearing gifts as well: a colorful bouquet of balloons, all declaring, "Oh, no... the BIG Four-Oh!”
The kids dragged me downstairs to see the house decorated with various posters and banners declaring their love and affection. On the kitchen table was a king's crown (lovingly purchased from the local Big Lots the night before). This was to be my legacy for the day: "It's good to be the king!" The kids informed me that I needed to wear my crown while driving them to school. Not too bad I thought... until I saw the car. Written in window markers were various sayings all aimed at alerting every driver known to humankind that it was indeed my 40th birthday, from "We love you, Dad!" to "Happy 40th birthday, Dad!" to my personal favorite on the back window: "Lordy, Lordy... Daddy's 40!"
So all day I was greeted by well-wishers on the road. Some waved. Some pointed and laughed. Most smiled, some with that knowing look at what the next ten years might hold.
All seemed to be going okay, until I had a few quiet minutes to myself.
Then the questions came.
What have I done with my life to this point? Have I really made a difference? Have I missed out on something along the way? What about the future?
I had this overwhelming feeling that I was not “further along” in life as I had dreamed I would be by age 40. I’m still struggling with things. I’m still wondering what I want to do with my life, still wondering if I’m doing the right sort of things with my life.
In that moment, my cell phone rang. The voice on the other end, although keenly disguised as a voice of a friend, was that of my Creator.
“Happy birthday, Mike. I wanted to call and wish you a happy birthday, but even more, I wanted to let you know what you’ve meant to me.”
For the next few moments, I was swept away. Tears flowed as we recounted the journey together. The times we celebrated. The times we wept together. Each moment etched indelibly in my mind.
Those moments were a gift. A gift from my Creator letting me know that my questions, although valid and real to me, were somehow being swept away into a larger stream – the stream of His love, which was causing Him to rejoice and sing...
... over me.
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Is it easy, or hard, for you to see God rejoicing and singing over you? Why or why not? Take a few moments to bask in the love of God for you, allowing Him to sing over you.
Luke 15:11-32; Romans 8:38-39
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