A Precious Gift

Happy Birthday Susan!

Happy Birthday Susan!

Today is a day
     that we celebrate.
The birth of a girl
     who really is great!
It’s not always easy,
     but so worth the price.
To be given a gift 

     that’s so very nice!

She came at a moment,
     just stepped out in time.
We all had each other,
     but barely a dime.
From the beginning,
     she was daddy’s girl.
With a smile so big,
     any heart would unfurl.

I owe her my life,
     and oh, so much more.
She gave me purpose,
     which had gone out the door.
In the midst of great sickness
     I learned to press on.
There are so many walks
     on which we have gone.

Some say she’s different,
     I suppose that is so.
For she’s filled with joy,
     more than anyone I know!
She’s an angel from heaven —
     at least in a way.
With a message from God
     that she shares every day.

She longs for heaven
     and it’s really not odd.
She teaches me much
     about talking with God.
If you should wonder,
     what her joy is about.
God’s presence is with her,
     of that there’s no doubt.

The labels are plenty
     to describe what she’s got.
But to describe her,
     those labels do not!
CP and autism,
     with seizures not few.
May be what she has,
     but they don’t define who.

A child of the King,
     a joy to mankind.
A sweeter person,
     you never will find.
There’s no fake about her,
     no motives to hide.
What you see on her face
     is what is inside.

Throughout the years,
     we have been told.
Prepare for the worst,
     she won’t get this old.
Perhaps a few weeks,
     even years may be seen.
But it’s not very likely
     to go beyond teen.

And so here we are,
     at twenty-six years old!
A gift straight from God
     that’s still ours to hold!
I don’t take it for granted,
     I thank God every day.
That He loved us so much
     to send Susan our way.

She’s not really ours,
     she is simply on loan.
And it’s a great privilege
     to give her a home.
How long she will be here,
     I really don’t know.
She longs for heaven
     and is ready to go.

As I sit in a hotel
     on this, her birthday.
Alone in a room
     many miles away.
I wake up early
     to spend time in prayer.
And God gives me this poem
     that I now share.

© 2015 by Tom Lemler

We celebrated Susan’s birthday Sunday as I was headed out Monday morning for the North American Christian Convention. As I woke up early this morning and was spending time with God, He put this poem in my mind about Susan. I pray that she has a great day and continues to be a joy and blessing to others as she is to MJ and I.

In prayer,

Happy Birth Day!

“Buy the truth and do not sell it;
     get wisdom, discipline and understanding. 
The father of a righteous man has great joy;
     he who has a wise son delights in him. 
May your father and mother be glad;
     may she who gave you birth rejoice!”  (Proverbs 23:23-25)

Another day is gone and this one also marked the completion, or beginning ;), of another year in my life.  God has given me many friends and acquaintances who have kept my Facebook page filled with birthday wishes.

I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people wishing me a happy birthday as I’ve had this year!  I appreciate greatly each thought and sentiment expressed.  For me, birthdays are typically just another day.  I don’t keep track of them so I end up having to do the math just to figure out how old I am whenever someone asks.

God knew how much I needed the many wishes for a happy birthday and He used them to encourage me and to make me think about some interesting questions.  What makes a happy birthday?   How do I recognize one?  Who should be happy because of my birthday?  How widespread is happiness, or joy, because of my life?  Do people bless or curse the day I was born?  Do I bless or curse the day I was born?

As I thought about these and other questions, I thought about people like Job.  His suffering made him wish he had never been born.  Yet within the affliction he endured, and the constant questioning of “why?”, he refused to lash out at God and curse Him for the condition he found himself in.  I think Job eventually realized the truth of what God says through Isaiah, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

I believe Job discovered that his birth, his life, wasn’t all about him.  When we look at life, and even our birth, as being all about us, our world becomes a very small place.  God calls us to consider His ways and His thoughts which are much higher than our own.  He not only clearly sees our current situation, he sees why we are here and where we are headed just as clearly! 

God’s concern isn’t so much for my happiness as it is for my faithfulness!  The question isn’t, “Am I getting everything I want or desire?” but rather, “Am I investing what God has given me into others so that my life bears much fruit?”!  It was these questions that led me to verses like the ones at the top of this post.  These verses give characteristics that when lived out give others cause to rejoice and be happy at the day of my birth!   Truthfulness, wisdom, discipline, understanding, and righteousness bring joy and delight — not only to the father and mother of such a person, but to the people around you as you grow in these qualities.

Do I, do you, want a happy birthday that is a true reflection of the joy that God has brought to others through us?  Then let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith so that He can fill us with truth, wisdom, discipline, understanding, and His righteousness through the power of His Spirit. 

May this anniversary of the day of my birth truly be happy for me as well as for each of you that God has connected my life with!

Praying that when your day arrives, not only is it a happy birthday but that many others are happy and rejoice that you have a birth day!