Today is my birthday. You probably guessed it–I’m 58! So, when I woke this morning I read Isaiah 58, and also looked up some different biblical meanings of the number 58. I read that 58 is the number of grace, which really corresponds with verse 11 in Isaiah, and also holds very true for my life. As I’ve said so many times before, God has continually been my Guide, even when I didn’t recognize him as that. He has been the One that has nourished me when I feel lost in dry places, and the One that gives me strength to thrive through the curve balls of life. His water, a constant shower of grace, has fed me.
It feels a little weird to be 58. The world was very different all those years ago. The story my mom always told me was that she didn’t see me coming. She was laying on my grandmother’s couch, and then with only a small pang of pain in her stomach, she thought to sit up. My grandmother came over to her and in her colorful language she proclaimed, “Oh my god! (blankity, blank, blank) An ambulance was called, my mother was whisked away, and before arriving I was half born. It was a stormy, cold night. Welcome to winter!
I believe grace settled on my life at that very moment I was conceived. Admittedly, I haven’t always seen it, but the more I focus on knowing who God is, the more I realize how each one of us has an abundance of grace readily available to us. His character shines grace, mercy, love, hope, etc. When I am able to tap into the very roots of who God is, I am able to tap into all of those qualities in my own life. Then, I able to say “It is good!”
Just the other day I was telling a friend about a poster I saw several years ago. At the top of the poster it said “God is in a good mood!” To me, that was the most astounding statement I had ever heard. What? God is in a good mood? He’s not distressed, upset, angry, worried, bothered, isolated, distracted, or overwhelmed? I mean he created this world that has rebelled against him. We have all rebelled in one way or another, yet God is in a good mood. He’s not wringing his hands together worried about how it’s all going to work out–no, no, no–he is happy. He is engaged, curious, joyful, involved. He is good, all the time.
So, on my 58th birthday I am happy to be celebrating life. I’ve already been blessed with meeting with my son for lunch yesterday and a phone call from two grandchildren. I’ve had numerous birthday wishes from those that I love, and it’s been very nice. I’m in a good mood, because I know God’s love is ever-present, ever- good, and his gift of grace is everlasting.
When is your birthday, and how will you celebrate the love of Jesus on the day you were born?3