“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!