So I’ve been working on a post about voting and the elections, but it seemed a bit heavy for a day like today, so let’s just take a break from all things politics and celebrate today, shall we?
It’s my birthday. My 46th birthday to be exact, although I’m not technically 46 for another few hours. I’m holding on to 45 as long as I can…I’m closer to 50 than 40 now. Look out. That’s a really strange thought.
I like birthdays. I think they’re a great time to look back. To remember. To reminisce.
I’ve had some favorite years to be sure. Sixteen was fun, of course, because I got my license and all the independence that came with it. Twenty was a great year. One of the sweetest of all years. I gave my life back to the Lord, and it’s been quite the adventure ever since.
There was the year I got married. The years my kiddos were born. Those were favorites.
There were years I’d just as soon forget, but even those stormy years had beautiful moments.
My absolute favorite year changes every year. My favorite year is always this year. And my favorite birthday is always the one I’m celebrating right now.
This is a good year.
I woke up this morning with a roof over my head and food in my cupboards and tea in my canister just waiting to steep. I’m on the right side of the grass. My family is here sleeping and healthy. I’m doing what I love…writing and teaching and pastoring, wife-ing and mothering, breathing and laughing.
I woke up with a psalm in my heart and an expectation of more of Him. My heart is full. It’s not a perfect life…and sometimes it’s a stressful and chaotic life…but it’s a good life. It’s a good day for a birthday.
1 O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am;
2 You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.
Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.
3 You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming,
and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know.
4 You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.
It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.
5 You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
6 It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out;
the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it.
7 Can I go anywhere apart from Your Spirit?
Is there anywhere I can go to escape Your watchful presence?
8 If I go up into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in the realm of the dead, You are there.
9 If I ride on the wings of morning,
if I make my home in the most isolated part of the ocean,
10 Even then You will be there to guide me;
Your right hand will embrace me, for You are always there.
11 Even if I am afraid and think to myself, “There is no doubt that the darkness will swallow me,
the light around me will soon be turned to night,”
12 You can see in the dark, for it is not dark to Your eyes.
For You the night is just as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to Your eyes.
13 For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
14 I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
15 You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You
As I took shape in secret,
carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
16 You see all things;
You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.
17 Your thoughts and plans are treasures to me, O God! I cherish each and every one of them!
How grand in scope! How many in number!
18 If I could count each one of them, they would be more than all the grains of sand on earth. Their number is inconceivable!
Even when I wake up, I am still near to You.
19 I wish You would destroy all the wicked, O God.
So keep away from me, those who are thirsty for blood!
20 For they say such horrible things about You,
and those who are against You abuse Your good name.
21 Is it not true that I hate all who hate You, Eternal One?
Is it not true that I despise all who come against You?
22 Deep hatred boils within me toward them;
I am Your friend, and they are my enemies.
23 Explore me, O God, and know the real me. Dig deeply and discover who I am.
Put me to the test and watch how I handle the strain.
24 Examine me to see if there is an evil bone in me,
and guide me down Your path forever.
Psalm 139 has got to be one of my all-time favorites. I don’t know how many of you have ever wrestled with insecurities. Feeling like you don’t matter. Your life doesn’t count. Thinking how could anybody like you because you don’t even like yourself. Unloved. Unwanted. Unnecessary. Of no value.
I spent many a year riddled with them. Riddled with those thoughts and feelings. And then I found Him. Then I came into contact with Living Love. Then I read the words of this psalm and so many others in His Word and realized all those thoughts I was thinking about myself were lies.
So I stopped believing the lies.
I am valuable and loved and wanted and necessary. I have purpose. I am not only likeable but I’m loveable. I am loved, and it’s a good feeling. I matter.
And so do you.
Every year on my birthday I like to read this psalm and let it wash over and over and over in my soul.
If you’re like I used to be – riddled with insecurities – read and read and reread this psalm and let it saturate and overwhelm your soul. Stop believing the lies this world tries to sell you. The truth – His truth – is so much better.
I pray for you today that His presence and love would permeate every fiber of your being just as they did me as I sat on my swing this morning.
It’s a great day to be alive. You are valuable and you have purpose. You are loved. You matter. Don’t ever forget that.