Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A time to be born and a time to...23

"Why is a birthday cake the only food you can blow on and spit on and everybody rushes to get a piece?" Bobby Kelton asked. Well, to many people birthdays mean cake, wrapping paper, money, clothes, party, friends and some words of wisdom. And that is all we usually seem to remember. Again, it is on our birthdays that lot's of people think of us, especially with the facebook notifications. The only boring part is that 90% of the wall posts are "happy bday." This begs the question, why? Most friends never really thought of you personally, otherwise, they would tailor those messages to suit what you've meant in their lives in the past year. I believe friends should be able to spot the areas you need to improve and commend you when deserve.

I performed a search for the word "birthday" in the Bible. The results shocked me. It only occurs three times. In each of the three instances, someone was murdered during the celebrations. During Pharaoh's birthday, the chief baker was hanged on a tree (Genesis 40:20-23) fulfilling Joseph's dream. During king Herod's birthday, John the Baptist was beheaded (Mark 6:21-29; Matthew 14:6-12) granting Herodias' daughter's wish. The other instance, while am not sure whether it was a birthday party, but all ten children of Job were killed by a tornado (Job 1:19). I can, therefore by inference, safely conclude that whenever birthday parties are aimed at
celebrating man rather than the Almighty God, bad things are bound to happen. Satan may turn such hours of pleasure into sore discomfort and fear.

The one VIP we must never forget whenever we throw a party for our friends is our Maker and Friend. Our sincerest gratitude should be to the living God. He is the giver and sustainer of life. When I look back, I marvel at how he has kept my heart beating for the past 23 years day and night. He has been my greatest benefactor. To him I owe all my estate and life. Ellen White, writing to her son Edison on his nineteenth birthday, says "Another year of your life closes today. How can you look back upon it? Have you made advancement in the divine life? Have you increased in spirituality? Have you crucified self, with the affections and lusts? Have you an increased interest in the study of God's word? Have you gained decided victories over your own feelings and waywardness? Oh, what has been the record of your life for the year which has now passed into eternity, never to be recalled? As you enter upon a new year, let it be with an earnest resolve to have your course onward and upward. Let your life be more elevated and exalted than it has hitherto been. Make it your aim not to seek your own interest and pleasure, but to advance the cause of your Redeemer. Remain not in a position where you ever need help yourself, and where others have to guard you to keep you in the narrow way. " I believe the questions she poses here are serious ones. They are "thought-worthy."

Therefore, on this special day I make Psalm 126:3 my own: "the Lord has done great things for [me], whereof I am glad." I will not speak about myself but the honour of my God.

"It is true that I have endured trials, but it is just as true that I have been delivered out of them. It is true that I have my corruptions, and mournfully do I know this, but it is just as true that I have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers me from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that I have crept along the valley of humiliation and sickness, but it would be equally wicked to forget that I have been through them safely and profitably; I have not remained in them, thanks to my Almighty helper... The deeper my troubles, the louder my thanks to God, who has led me through all, and preserved me until now. My griefs cannot mar the melody of my praise, I reckon them to be the bass of my life's song, He hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad."

2 comments:

  1. Dear Austin,

    May you continue to grow in favour with God and man as you have the first 23 years. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Inge, like the two boys Samuel and Jesus. Am counting more on God's favour that I don't really deserve. He is faithful and his mercies are new every morning.

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