22 Sep God Celebrates YOU Every Day!
As is the case with a lot of people, in my office there are many photographs of my family. A few of the photos are recent, but some of them are not. One of my favorite pictures was taken about 22 years ago. My son, about three-years old at the time, is standing in front of Stonehenge, sticking out his tongue and making a funny face as only a “life-is-a-party” preschooler can do. His sister is playing the “straight man” in this particular photo, though that is certainly not always the case with these two.
Today that little boy turns 25. September is a big birthday month in my family—my mother and my son’s birthdays are only three days apart and other family members and friends are spread around as well. I love birthdays. I grew up in a household where birthdays were a big deal. It was your “special day” and you were celebrated. The birthday girl or boy got to have their favorite meal and dessert (homemade enchiladas and homemade chocolate pie for me, just in case you are wondering!) Candles and singing were absolutely essential.
I’ve carried on that tradition of special birthday celebrations with my children. David will get chocolate muffins just as he has for as long as he has been old enough to name his treat. Gifts don’t matter much to him, but we’ll have “family game night” as part of his celebration. Perhaps it is because this is a “milestone birthday,” but I’m feeling even more nostalgic than usual as I dig out the recipe I need and find the right number of candles. A part of me hates how fast the time has flown and is flying by. A bigger part of me is incredibly proud of the person he has grown to be.
Gratitude, memories, and joy are all mixed together as I contemplate my son’s birth and birthday. He is a unique and special person, just as each of us is created to be. As I celebrate him, I am reminded of the words of the psalmist:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it. For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.” (Psalm 139:1-6, 13-14)
Even if no one ever marks your birthday with a special celebration, God is celebrating you each and every day. God is overjoyed with his own handiwork—you—and delights in the creative, wonderful person you are. There are no two people alike any more than there are two identical snowflakes, and that is exactly as God designed it. In our diversity we reflect the love, light and glory of God. I can choose to dimly reflect God’s image in me or I can endeavor to let God’s light shine brightly in and through me, but either way, the light is there. What might you do today to celebrate God’s image in you and in someone else?
Yours for the Kingdom,
P.S. Happy Birthday, David!