“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 ESV
12:01 a.m. I awoke and reached for the bottled water to soothe my parched throat. I was dealing with the third cold in five months. I guess that is one of the hazards of working with preschoolers.
But this wasn’t an ordinary day. It was my 55th birthday. And honestly, I was bummed. I had envisioned my charges gathering around me in the classroom and singing, “Happy Birthday.” Or at least some resemblance of the song that two-year-olds can sing. And maybe there would be cupcakes. Instead, I was destined to lounge on the couch and nurse my stuffy nose.
Before, I could commence with the pity party, the Lord nudged me with familiar scriptures:
He reminded me that there were others celebrating their birthday as well in less than ideal surroundings and circumstances. What about the child lying in the hospital whose greatest birthday gift would be a bone marrow transplant and his parents’ wish for more birthdays. Then the soldier far from home longing for familial embraces and friendly back pats wishing him many happy returns of the day. He may be wondering if he would see another birthday. Maybe there was a newly widowed woman who would miss the sentimental card from a husband who had been called home.
And what about the birth of our Savior? He deserved the finest accommodations and the most skilled mid-wife to welcome Him into our world. And yet, He was born in the lowest of places.
Regardless of how my day would play out, God had made that day, period. The scripture didn’t say “I will rejoice if I feel like it.” And not only was I supposed to rejoice, but also be glad! It would take an act of my will.
Further, we see that giving thanks in everything is God’s will for us. I need to be a grateful person to remain in His will. That means no pity parties when things aren’t going my way. That means remembering to be grateful when all is well in my world. And it means being grateful on my birthday even with a cold.
Father, thank you for creating me for this moment in time. May I do my best to always be grateful. In Jesus’ name, Amen!