Today I am thinking of birthdays and new years maybe because someone very special to me, my sister, had a birthday yesterday and it fell right on Rosh Hashanah which is a Jewish new year celebration.
A birthday is a day when you stand of the threshold of the new year and the old year. It is your year mark because you were born that day many years before. The new year is ahead it is full of possibilities and the old year is behind it is finished and can not be changed. Our perception of what happened can change but what happened 'is what it is' forever.
I can only really have rest and joy in what is finished and what is beginning. You may say that is not true. There are plenty of ongoing things to have joy in like relationships or things that are in process like a journey or a goal. True. But the past must be 'put to bed' in order to really have rest.
Trouble is funny in that it follows you. Ever notice that. The skeleton in your closet can show up at unexpected times and give you a good fright.
God has special compassion on those who are held captive. A person living in fear is a captive of that fear. God wants people to live free.
"Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion." Isaiah 52:2 KJV
"But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive." Jeremiah 13:17 KJV
Birthdays are those special days of perspective. Because you are standing on a day in your history with the past and future eclipsed before you both are present at once.
"And He said, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.' " Exodus 33:14 NKJV
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
One of the things I love about being a believer is that newness and perspective are possible in every moment. Things don't even need to change in my circumstances for it to happen. When my mind is set on Christ and what He is done I find that goodness and mercy are following me all the days of my life (see Psalm 23). My past is wrapped up in a peaceful way and the future holds many good things I could not even conceive of at this moment. I am set free again and again from what was into what forever will be.
Happy Birthday to my sweet sister and Happy New Year to everyone else. May God's love rise in your heart like a colorful sunrise this coming year.