Reflections on my fifty-fourth birthday

Not long ago a young friend found out my age and expressed surprise. “I didn’t know you were that o—”

She stopped. “I mean. . . .” She back-pedalled. “I mean . . . you’re not old.” She blushed.  “I mean, I didn’t know you were that far along.”

Indeed, I’m pretty far along. Even, by some people’s estimation, old. (Apparently not that friend’s.)

I’m old enough to remember the first time I ate pizza. I was sixteen.

I’m old enough to remember when everyone was excited because someone in our social group had gotten a VCR (that’s video cassette recorder, for anyone too young to remember it). I was invited to that someone’s apartment to watch Stars Wars—there was only one at that time—on the small screen. (The young man who wanted to spend some time with me later ended up spending his life with me, but that’s another story.)

I’m old enough to remember when records were being replaced with cassettes (remember those?), so I went out and bought several Patch the Pirate records for my children when the price went down to two dollars each.

I’m old enough to remember asking some friends, “Now what is the internet, and what’s the point of it?”

I also remember, during the six months when I was engaged to be married, thinking  about the precious children I hoped to have, and how our country would, if it continued on the same course, be so much more wicked when they were grown. I remember getting on my knees to pray for them, those ones I loved who were yet unborn.

So here we are. My children are young adults, and my daughter is expecting her first baby, to be born into a land that is going topsy-turvy. And again I get on my knees and pray, as I have through the years, trusting in a God who is mighty to save.

One reason I love the psalms is because so many of them begin with anguish—“Where are you, O Lord? Why aren’t you helping me?” but end with joy: “I will praise you all my days; I will lift up your holy Name.”

This is where we are. This is what we do. We cry out to the only One who can save, and we lift up His holy Name.

But let all the ones who put their trust in you rejoice!
Let them always shout for joy, because you defend them!
Let them that love your name be joyful in you.
For you, Jehovah, will bless the righteous ones;
with your powerful grace you will compass them as with a shield.

He is our Shield. He is our Protector. And we stand amazed together at His powerful grace—the strength to face the unknown days ahead, and to face them with joyful confidence in Him.

 

I welcome your thoughts