This week I turn 29. For me, my birthday is always a point for reflection. I like to spend time reflecting on what was good about the year, what was hard, and the lessons that God has taught me throughout.
Personally, I think that taking time to reflect is an important practice, especially as a Christian. As I reflect, I dwell on God’s character and promises, I notice his fingerprints in each part of my life, and my heart is filled with gladness and gratefulness towards Him. As I reflect, I’m reminded that though I may be weak, He is Strong (2 Corinthians 4:7); when I feel lost, He knows the direction (Proverbs 3:5-6; Proverbs 16:9). I’m reminded that whatever I experience, God will use it for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28). These are not just nice sentiments, but Biblical truths and spiritual realities in my life.
Reminders and Lessons Learnt
Here’s a snapshot of some of the lessons and reminders of the past year:
Though I may go through changes, and experience uncertainty, I am always at peace with God. So often I am tempted to think that peace is a feeling, but feelings come and go. Peace is a consistent spiritual reality. Peace with God comes through trusting in the Gospel of Christ, His death on the cross of Calvary and resurrection to new life: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2).
Feelings of insecurity will come and go. This is part of being human. Some situations in my life might cause me to question my worth and value. But I am a chosen, cherished child of God (Isaiah 43:1). My security is in the God who created me, knows my flaws, yet died on the cross and rose again to secure eternal salvation for me (and everyone who puts their trust in Him).
Whatever I experience, whether success or failure, joy or suffering, it is for God’s glory and my good (Romans 8:28). No experience will ever go to waste.
I have been reminded again and again that God reveals himself through His creation. Whether it’s the fuchsia still in bloom along the Atlantic coastline, or the autumn afternoon sun shining on the Comeragh mountains, these beautiful sights are gifts from God which remind me of His love and sovereignty.
Disappointment points me to the reality that God is enough. Misplaced hope and expectation are often crushing but placing my hope in the steadfast hope of the Lord is the source of true and lasting joy (Proverbs 13:12; Hebrews 6: 17-19).
A Renewed Hope for 29
Here are some verses that God has been bringing to my mind during this transition time. May they bless your heart too 😊
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”
Psalm 62: 5-7 – “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God”
Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
2 Corinthians 4: 7-12 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”
Psalm 37:5 – “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”