Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reflections on 52 Years of Blessings

Hello, it's Sunday once again! It's a custom in our church for the Pastor to call all the birthday and anniversary celebrators for the week to stand in front for the congregation to greet and pray for. Last week, my husband and I were called because it was our wedding anniversary day. Today, I was called to stand in front again and as I listened to the brethren singing the Birthday Song, I couldn't help but thank and praise God for every blessing He has showered me with all these 52 years of my life.

Oh yes, I will be celebrating my birthday on Tuesday, September 11. Does the date sound familiar? I believe so. If you are an American, I'm sure you would remember one significant event! If you are an Ilocano born in decada 60, what could it be you are thinking of?

To stay in tune with the song, "Count your Blessings" (written by Johnson Oatman, Jr and composed by Edwin Othello Excell), I would do so right now.

"Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done."

So here, I recount my blessings and summarize them collectively altogether as my family and loved ones, my church and brethren, my work and the friends I made all through the years… these of course, are on top of all material and spiritual blessings, too many to mention.

I thank God for shaping and creating me (Job 10:8). I'm happy that His timing has been and always will be perfect  (Psalms 18:30) for me. The process of how I came to know Him was a perfect example of how He gradually unfolded His grand plan in my life. All the places I've been to, including my school and all my teachers (from pre-school to college, including my mentors at work), were all instrumental in shaping my life to become as it is now.  How He led me to our church where I met Billy, my husband and how He gave us our two lovely daughters (Ayana Grace, 22 and Ana Cristina, 20) are among His most beautiful gifts to me.

As I sat in the pew this morning, I believe God was speaking to me through our Pastor as the title of his message was "Walking with God for a Lifetime." Let me quote verse 4 from the key verses of his message, Isaiah 46: 3, 4:

"Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you."

What great assurance it is to know that I have a God who knows me inside out (Psalms 139) and who will never cease to hold out His mighty arm to guide and protect me. How He does it I need not understand. I just have to be content to savor such thought as I walk in stride with Him in my lifetime! Oh, may He give me such grace, I continually pray!

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