Truly Happy

It’s my birthday today. And for the past week, I had one birthday prayer.

God said no.

I know it sounds frivolous, but bear with me.

So far this morning, my soul has been rolling like a stormy sea. I hated that it was my birthday. Email notifications of wonderful birthday wishes from friends and family embittered me. One friend prayed that God would bless me.

I thought, bitterly, stupidly, selfishly, “Have You blessed me, God? How is there blessing in this?”

I covered my eyes with my hand, swallowed several times before hot and angry tears blurred my eye liner, and continued editing manuals.

I went to a business meeting.

I ate a granola bar.

I sighed several times and typed some more.

And then I decided to check all my birthday messages.

One, written by a dear, sweet friend from my elementary years, kicked me in the shins with the rod of conviction.

Wishing you a sweet birthday with memories that you will cherish and a reminder of God’s endless grace that he pours out on you daily.

A reminder of God’s endless grace that He pours out on you daily.

I again cover my eyes and hold my breath to keep from awkwardly bawling at my desk. Tears sting the corners of my eyes and my heart winces and coils in conviction and repentance.

Here I was, sourly wishing I had the one thing I so prayed for, that mean, ol’ God had withheld from me for another while, and yet I blinded myself to God’s daily graces.

I woke up this morning, able to walk, healed from Lyme disease.

I woke up breathing.

My morning began and continues with friends and co-workers cheerfully wishing me a happy birthday.

I have a wonderful husband who has some kind of surprise dinner and gift for me later on today.

We have a place to live after our lease is up on May 31st.

My dear friend and co-worker is taking me out to lunch.

I received the birthday tradition that God has always given me — spring rain.

And most importantly, and most convicting of all graces, is that He chose me. I’m not only alive and breathing physically, but my soul is alive in Christ. I am an heir to His Kingdom through the sacrifice of Jesus!

And here I was, muttering. Murmuring. Kicking against the goads.

So thank you, friend, for the birthday wish which, unbeknownst to you, beat me to the ground. It’s what I needed to hear in order to have a truly wonderful birthday, full of thanks and adoration to my Savior and King for blessing me with yet another day of grace.

For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:5


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