Saturday, August 15, 2009

Birthday Post

Birthdays are great for a lot of reasons. For one thing, I will most likely overdose on sugar and butter this evening while celebrating with my family. Secondly, I will have people post on my facebook wall that I haven't heard from in forever. I love hearing from friends, both old and new. And of course, people will give me gifts. As much as I try not to be consumed by clothes, books, and shiny things (see previous posting), I still enjoy receiving gifts. Call me human.

On the other hand, birthdays are also great for perspective. I woke up this morning to find an email informing me that a longtime friend of the family has pancreatic cancer. This friend of my Dad's has a wonderful family and much to live for. On a day when I am celebrating the joys of life, I am at once confounded by my own. Why am I not the one with cancer? I know that my life has not been entirely easygoing, but why am I healthy and so many others are hurting? The "why's" and "what if's" are endless.

However, if I were to obsess over these thoughts then I would miss my own life and give death the spotlight. Today I have the opportunity to see good friends, break bread with family, and breath again. Furthermore, I am more alive now than I ever have been because I know my God and he knows me. Even though the heartache, darkness, and injustices of the world are more apparent to me now then ever before, God's redemption of all this is all-the-more real. Four or five years ago I would not be able to tell you that God is bigger than our unbelief or that he has never seen a righteous man go hungry (Prov. 10:3). I would not have been able to tell you that God breathes life into broken relationships and protects the marriage of his children. Even two years ago I would not have been able to tell you that I was perfectly loved by a real, living God who is constantly irrupting into our world. There is so much I have learned from being in pain and I can tell you that it does not have to end there.

I'm not sure what else to say because that about sums it up. I hope all of you give meaning to your days and learn to trust in the God who does not let death have the final word.

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