Today is my birthday. I am 89 years old. I cannot adequately describe how grateful I am to my Lord and Savior for his kindness and faithfulness to me these almost nine decades. When I look back over my life I am humbled when I realize how faithfully he has protected me, nurtured me, matured me and lovingly guided me.
In addition, I am grateful for the abundance of family and friends who exhibit love for me. Some I’ve known for over 40 years and they still say that they love me! I am blessed.
This morning Winnie gave me a touching birthday card with bold words on the front, “You Mean So Much to Me.” It made me think of the question, “Norm, who are the people that mean so much to you?” I might ask the same question to you. My guess is that there are select individuals who come to your mind. And occasionally there are opportunities to tell that person face to face, or by writing a letter, choosing a thought full card, or by some other means of letting that person know how their life enriches your own.
About the same time I read Winnie’s card I was reading one of the Psalms. My thoughts were captured by Psalm 89:14. “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” I had written it down some time ago when I came across it because then, too, it spoke to my mind and heart.
These four outpourings of our Lord’s essence have meant a lot to me over the years. I am grateful that the God in whom I’ve entrusted my life is righteous. I recall some of the gods of the Greeks and Romans. They were anything but righteous. To follow an immoral god doesn’t seem to be meaningful. By contrast, it means a great deal to me that the one I love and serve is pure in his motives and acts with integrity,
It also means much to me that our God is a God of justice. We are living in an age of great injustice among men. We don’t know who to trust because we receive daily reports of infighting, manipulation, selfishness and greed. It seems as though the people that are entrusted with leadership are looking out for number one — themselves. How grateful I am for a Sovereign Leader who is just in every action.
“Steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.” It means a lot to me to know that at the core of his being, God the Father, Jesus Christ his Son, and the Holy Spirit are overflowing with love. Steadfast love reminds me that it is constant, reliable and never ending. I am well aware of my failures, my proneness to wander, my appetite for lust. I desperately need someone who loves me beyond my erratic behavior. I am reminded how frequently the Word of God speaks of our heavenly Father’s gracious devotion to the children he loves so dearly.
It means a lot to me knowing that our Lord is utterly faithful. A relationship is not worth much if the other person is not trustworthy. But our God guarantees us that he is always faithful and my life bears this out. At 89 I’ve have had ample opportunity to find out if I could trust him. He’s never failed me. He keeps his word. When I face difficulty and uncertain times I can turn the pages of my Bible and find abundant promises that he always keeps.
On this day I am testifying to you that God is good. The Psalmist knew it too. He says, “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (145:8, 9).