Daily Devotional August 30, 2021

This week, I have a birthday.  I dread it.

My apprehension over another birthday has nothing to do with getting older.  In fact, I like getting older.

I wouldn’t want to go back to my younger days.  That’s because I made a lot of mistakes.  I’ve learned from them.  The pain from all those mistakes has made me much wiser.  I’m am not nearly as idiotic as I used to be.

The reason I don’t like birthdays is because, every year, Shannon gets aggravated with me.

Shannon loves my birthday and always wants to give me something special that I’ve wanted but never been willing to spend the money.

I already have everything I want.  To Shannon, that is an unacceptable answer.

In the past, out of desperation, I’ve made up things I would like for my birthday.  Unfortunately, after all these years, Shannon can read me like a book.  She always says, “You don’t really want that.  Your just making that up.”  She’s right.

This year, I came up with the perfect gift.  In order to avoid this annual conundrum, I told Shannon I wanted a Wombat.  She immediately started trying to find one. 

The catch is it is illegal to own a Wombat as a pet.  So, the gift I want is not possible and I am off the hook.   But, my annual birthday dilemma got me thinking.

As far as gifts are concerned, as frustrated as Shannon gets with me, I think God gets even more frustrated.

God wants to give me a life of purpose and meaning.  It’s God’s gift, which continues on for all eternity.

The problem is, too often, I reject God’s gift.  It’s not that I actually say, “God, I don’t want your gift.”  But my self-serving actions, caustic words, and callous thoughts show there are times I choose my own way rather than God’s gift.  And even though God may be frustrated I am such a slow work in progress, God never gives up.  

Two thousand years ago, Paul explained God’s gift to humanity by saying,God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth.  There is only one God, and there is only one way that people can reach God. That way is through Christ Jesus, who as a man  gave himself to pay for everyone to be free. This is the message that was given to us at just the right time.” (1 Timothy 2:4-6)

The best gift of all is Jesus.  He’s what I want for my birthday.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me remember each day, each person, and each blessing I experience, is a gift to be cherished.  Thank you for your beautiful gift of salvation.  I humbly ask that you use me to help others recognize and accept your gift.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

The greatest gift of all happened two thousand years ago.  Nothing is better.

Just for the record, I may have made a mistake telling Shannon I want a wombat for my birthday.  Just because it is illegal to own one as a pet, and they only live in Australia, this is Shannon we are talking about. 

Pray for me.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins