I'm struggling to accept a hard, yet wonderful reality this afternoon: our children, Rebecca and Chuck, will be celebrating birthdays in a few days - their fortieth and forty-first respectively. My body and mirror have been collaborating for years to hint that I'm not getting any younger; but somehow I failed to equate that reality with my children's getting older. At some level I know I knew it - I had to - I surely didn't sleep through the steady progression of ballgames, proms, graduations, jobs, marriages, churches, and births...it's just that I don't remember ever putting all of the pieces together like I have this afternoon.
I suspect it was the rain and darkness outside that prompted me to reflect on the totality of years long past; in my reverie, images FO and kids from life's various seasons flooded my mind with a vividness so real as to seemingly transport yesterday into today, but with a difference . . . looking through the bifocal lens of time and faith, I could see the previously unseen - God's nudging at all the crucial intersections. That vision prompted me to open my Bible to a favorite passage.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
And there, wedged between the pages, was this picture taken when Rebecca was just a few months old and Chuck was twelve months older. In a sense we were all children four decades ago but no more . . . God had plans for us; He nurtured us; He gave us hope and a future; and this year, as in previous years, we'll celebrate by blowing out the candles and saying, "Thanks be to God!"
In His Power and for His Glory,