Today is my birthday! When we are young, we look forward to celebrating our special day with cupcakes, balloons, and friends. We make a wish for things that we hope will “come true” in the near future.
I’ve noticed that some people feel less like celebrating as they get older. In fact, our culture reinforces this by using phrases such as “over the hill.” We see ads for anti-aging creams and potions and are encouraged to reverse any sign of having lived. As I reflect on my past years of life, a happy marriage, raising four wonderful sons, establishing a career, saving money to explore new places, and writing a book, I feel fulfilled and certainly don’t want to erase any of that!
I like to think of every birthday as a new beginning; my own personal “New Year.” Yes, I’m a year older, but I’m also a year closer to many of my personal goals, some of which were met this past year. I’ve also grown in my faith this past year and look forward to learning more about Jesus in the next 365 days. I’m older, but also wiser and more content.
The truth is that God wants us to face everyday with joy! When we become followers, we are given a clean slate and the opportunity to face each day with gratitude for our life. Not every day will be easy, but knowing that we have a God who loves us gives us a confidence and strength unlike any other. We will be faced with temptations, but God has given us the power to change. We have tools to navigate uncertainty and be filled with a sense of peace.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NLT).
So this year I invite you to join me and face every day as if it was your birthday. Smile, celebrate, be filled with joy…and eat a cupcake once in a while!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NIV).