Friday, June 13, 2014

A Birthday Lesson

    The other day in my devotions, I was reading in Psalm 71. It's a Psalm of David, and he begins by expressing his lament to God. He has been going through a time of trouble in his life, and is asking God for help, comfort, and deliverance. As the Psalm continues on, however, his attitude turns around. Instead of praying for help, comfort, and deliverance, he is singing, and praising God for what He has already done in his life. He has a hope, a joy, and a thanksgiving in God. The verses that specifically caught my eye were these.
17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.
 18 Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
    We see through these verses, David is so thankful for what God has taught Him. Whether by trials, temptations, or different lessons learned, God has taught him so many things. As he got a little older, he took each one of those lessons, and experiences, and used them to share with others. He used them to encourage, help, and witness to others. He shared with them what God had done in his life, and what He can do in theirs as well. Then we see, as David grows even older, he has the same hope for the future. He hopes, just as when he was younger, God would stay by His side, guiding him, protecting him, and teaching him. He does not want God to leave him helpless and comfortless, but he wants the days of his old age to be even better than before. He wants to continually grow, and learn, so that way he can continue to share with the generations to come, God's strength and power in his life.

Twenty-One Years ago, today, on June 13th, 1993,
a happy, healthy, baby boy was born to two wonderful parents.

That Baby Boy has now grown up,


    And, today, as a twenty-one year old, I celebrate my life. Many times, when twenty-one year olds celebrate, they go to the bar, and lose their mind, they go to the casino, and lose their life savings, they meet a pretty young lady, and lose their purity. They basically waste a whole day, "Living it up". But as for me, I'm different. 

    As I read those verses, I couldn't help, but compare them to myself. While David lived many years ago, we can be similar in many ways. While they have been very different, we have both faced trials and temptation. We have also faced God's deliverance, comfort, and help. And it seems we as well have both considered our past and our future.
    As I think back, and comprehend the past twenty-one years, I realize how much God has done. He has saved me, forgiven me countless times, protected me, guided me, helped me, taught me, and blessed me. He has always been there, from the beginning, and will always be there until the end.

    As I think about my life, sometimes it saddens me. I'll be honest to say, there are countless times I have failed. I have sinned, made mistakes, and made other things the focus of my life besides God. There have been countless times I didn't want to read, I didn't want to pray, and I didn't want to do anything besides what I wanted to do. There are countless opportunities I have missed to share the gospel with others. I have not felt like it, I have made excuses, and I have passed the opportunity by because I was worried about what other people might think. But through it all, God continued to correct me, teach me, and help me to grow. He took each one of my problems, and made a solution. He took each one of my sins, and gave me forgiveness. He changed me, and made me a new person. Does that mean I'm perfect now? Definitely not! But I am still learning, and growing more every day.

    Now, as I think about my future, and consider the next twenty-one years the Lord may (or may not) give me, I have the same desire as David did. I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord every day. I want to take each one of my sins, mistakes, and failures, and do better in the days to come. I want my future to be the best days anyone could ever have, as God walks beside me, and guides me. Then, I want to take each one of the lessons that God has taught me, is teaching me, and will continue to teach me, and use them for His service, as He uses me in a special way. I pray, as I grow older, I can then share with others, for generations to come, everything He has done in my life.

    I don't say any of this to brag, or to boast. I'm not looking for any credit or glory, but I say all of this to say, God has done some amazing things in my life. As a filthy sinner, He is still working in my heart and my life every day. I don't know what God has planned for the future, but I do know that I look forward to seeing what He has in store. I pray as I continue to grow older, I will continue to learn and to grow, and as I continue to learn and grow, God will continue to use me in a special way, for His great glory.