Psalm 90:12-17 (NLT) says, “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. O Lord, come back to us! How long will You delay? Take pity on Your servants! Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us, Your servants, see You work again; let our children see Your glory, And may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!”
This inspiring scripture came with a birthday card from a dear friend! I have literally been celebrating one of my twilight birthdays for the whole month of February! This is again a reminder of how many wonderful friends I have been given by God! Breakfasts, lunches, and movie dates have filled my special month and have been tied to my special day of birth!
I store away special greeting cards as keepsakes for a long time, especially ones that express the treasure of friendship, the wisdom of God, and the reminder of God’s grace in a world that pushes back against all things that were meant for good and human flourishing… When I am in need of encouragement, I pull these cards from the drawer and read them while counting my blessings! In them I realize sacred treasures – God’s providential care and sweet relationships based on Jesus Christ. And I am thankful.
I saw the movie “Jesus Revolution” on opening night with my friend Sharon. We have vague recollections of the “true story” when we were young (1971-72 ish). But, one truth stands out after all these years. God’s delays are for our extended opportunities for His forgiveness of our sin and for our eternal salvation. A revival back then! A revival now! These pourings out of God’s Spirit at special times in history remind us that God is still at work. In His unfailing love, He gives us hope and gladness and revival!
How encouraging to see how God put His hand on Greg Laurie’s heart as a very young man, called him out of the darkness of his beginning circumstances, revealed Himself as the God of Hope, and then raised him up to be an author, pastor, evangelist, leader, and church planter. His story is depicted in the movie “Jesus Revolution,” but more than that, the story is a larger story of how God does take pity on people, replaces misery with gladness, replaces evil years with good, and replaces lack of hope with His wisdom and unfailing love.
Birthdays remind us of the brevity of life. But, also the great gift of life. And, by God’s grace, the possibility of singing for joy all the way to the end of our lives!