Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT)
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Sound the trumpets! Start the music! Send in the clowns! No, wait a minute on second thought, no clowns! It is my birthday! Another year has passed by quickly, when I think of my age it is bittersweet. Today I am 49 years old. I have crammed a lot of life in the last almost five decades. Comparing the good with the bad, I would do it all over again because it seems that even in my bad choices or less-than-perfect decisions – God has proven faithful in turning it all into something good in my life. It takes some distance and time to see this unfold so the years have proven beneficial. I have never been one to dwell on my age or my birthday for that matter. I love to celebrate others but tend to be very uncomfortable when the tables are turned. I want to throw the party, buy the gifts, blow up the balloons and celebrate others. What I do not find extravagant for others may seem overkill for me. Why is that?
When I woke up this morning at the ungodly hour of 4:30AM, my precious husband immediately wrapped his arms around me to wish me a happy birthday and tell me how much he loves me. I am blessed. I truly am. My children could not wait until today and had to give me my gift last night – their excitement overwhelming as they waited in great anticipation of my response. I hoped I would be able to be excited enough to meet their expectation and I was. Yet again they did not disappoint but bought me the one thing I wanted but would not do for myself. As I sat down to seek the Lord, I was looking for something new about Him. Where would we go today? What would we do? What is the plan and my very next step? But that is not what God was thinking about today in this moment. He was thinking about me.
I joke with people a lot that I am God’s Favorite. Actually, I am beginning to believe it. When I look back over my life and see the careful workings of His Hands – it is obvious. As I look around me today at the life He has given me – I am even more aware. Looking into the future as His Plans are unfolding – I have confident hope. I can see the things that He is doing and already believe that there are other things too wonderful for me to even know to ask for. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I used to try to run back to the past to fix it, keep careful control every aspect of today not to blow it, and even plan for the future to the point of worrying more about tomorrow than considering today. I would love to testify that this was before Jesus. However, this behavior has marked most of my 49 years. As I sit in quiet contentment today, on my birthday, I am acutely aware of the Love of God that my life is wrapped in. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God!
Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Could it be in self-loathing that we become slave drivers of ourselves? We cannot fathom God or anyone else loving us unconditionally because we do not see our value and worth. You cannot truly share something with another person that you have not experienced yourself. I tried to share Jesus for years. I grew up Southern Baptist. We would “survey” neighborhoods cold calling like a vacuum cleaner salesmen on Saturday morning. I have had many doors shut in my face over Jesus than I care to count. I was terrified that someone would ask me a question or why they should ask Jesus into their heart and I would be clueless what to say. I knew of Jesus at that time. But I had not experienced a relationship with Him, so it was difficult to share Him with others. I wonder what would happen if people understood their value and worth to God. “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it!” Or should it read, “How well I know it?” Do you know? Are you confident in the workmanship of your life or do you feel like a mistake?
A precious teacher named Louella Marks shared Psalm 139 with me as a teenager. It changed me forever. I had a difficult childhood. The product of a divorce and difficult childhood, I struggled with self-confidence. I didn’t fit in. But when I read this chapter, something inside me clicked and I realized that not only did God love me but He made it personal. He paid close and careful attention to me. I am wonderful! I am complex! I am made of quality workmanship not a mistake. It was a complete revelation. I share this with you today for the very same reason. The details of our life do not define who we are. This was predetermined when we were created by God. It doesn’t matter how you got here what matters is what you do with the life you have been given. If you will learn to value yourself and see your life as God created it to be, maybe you can celebrate you just like He does. God paid meticulous attention to your creation. He did not leave a single detail out so every single moment of your life has great potential! You are a masterpiece!
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I am God’s Masterpiece. The incomparable worth of my life cost God everything. He gave His Only Son so that I could have the plan that He prepared for me. It was not a done deal. Oh, settle down. Of course, the Cross was a done deal but my return was not sealed. God gave me the right to choose. When you consider the fact that God loves me so much that He gave His Son to die for me with the stipulation that I could choose whether or not to accept – it is mind blowing! As the mother of two sweet and precious sons with a third mine now by marriage, I wouldn’t give a single drop of their blood for another. As important as humility is in our relationship with the Lord, it is equally important that we know our true value and worth as well. Otherwise, we will never understand what a “big deal” we are to God and why He is so attentive to our life. The greatest hurdle for most people to overcome is themselves. Getting over our own faults and failures which we have allowed to define us to fully accept the divine destiny given to us before we were born and messed up! Everyone makes mistakes. His Grace is enough. I am God’s Masterpiece and so are you. He knew exactly what you do, choose and think before a moment in your life passed. So get over yourself and just accept you are God’s Favorite!
Daniel 9:22-23 (NLT)
He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.
He explained to me, “(Your name)…you are precious to God!” This has fast become one of my most favorite passages in the Word of God. It is such an intimate exchange between Daniel and God. Intimacy is critical to understanding our value and worth to the Lord. Prayer is simply conversations with God. He doesn’t want a script just a sincere exchange. My husband is my life partner. We talk all the time. We long to be together. There are things we talk about together that no one else knows about us. We are in a relationship. Because of this connection, he goes above and beyond to celebrate my life on days like today – my birthday. See it is just another day for me – I will go to work, run by the grocery store, pick up the youngest from school and come home to do some housework. I am comfortable in the routine I call life. But for my family today is important. They love me. They appreciate me. They celebrate my creation. Judging from the things spoken to my heart today, apparently God does, too! Do you know how much He loves you today? He really does. It is not because of anything you have done, may do or intend to do – it is simply because it is you! God celebrates you! He calls you a masterpiece today. Every single blessing and promise that He has given you rides on this one truth. God loves you! So much so Jesus died for you! He lives in you! Today is about you! What will you do with His Love? Just speaking His Name releases commands in Heaven because of His Love and Commitment to you, my friend. Accept the unconditional love of God today! It will change your life forever. Become comfortable in who you are in Christ by understanding that the love that is all about you has nothing to do with you! You are very precious to God so why not live like it today and every day! Not just on our birthday…the Lord celebrates us every day!
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NLT)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.