Monday, May 21, 2012

The Gift of Life

"...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." 
(Psalm 139:16b, NIV)

It's another birthday for me today.  The body doesn't work quite the way it did when I was at the top of my game.  The tennis elbow wakes me up some nights.  Arthritis is beginning to harass the fingers I love to type with.  The weight doesn't come off as quickly as it once did.  And my most remarkable gift today will be the root canal I need to end the nagging pain that can no longer be remedied by a simple filling.

Even so, I greet this day, this celebration of another year of life completed, with tremendous awe and gratitude. Working in the special needs community has deeply affected my worldview.  Perspective has been one of the greatest gifts of the frequent frustration and sorrow I walk through with other parents.  The miracle and meaning of each life can't help but impress me.  How each human, no matter what the level of gifts or abilities, touches every life around them is something few take the opportunity to notice.  As I pray with parents through their most challenging times, I am allowed to notice how deeply their child affects so many others.

At the landmark of my birthday, I can't help but notice what a gift each day of life is.  So many situations in recent months have instilled in me a lasting sense of gratitude.  Several of the families we serve have watched the children they love battle unexplained seizures that have rendered them unconscious and non-verbal.  Through great angst, I have prayed for miracles with these families as they beg God for just one more day of life for their precious child.  Various complicating illnesses have threatened to snatch that gift away.  Our prayers have encircled the suffering and claimed back that which the thief sought to kill, steal and destroy.

I have watched God glorified as these kids are restored to miraculous health.  The story of the teenager who was unable to even sit up in the ICU, walking out of the hospital with a smile the next day moves me.  The thrill of the little boy, who was so recently anguished and clinging to life now suddenly throwing shot-put in a track meet for the school he was never supposed to return to this year, helps me to see the Lord's mighty activity in those whose lives He tenderly holds.  And my own son's vitality, as he no longer grieves the difficulty of his own life-threatening pain that had him hospitalized this spring, refreshes my hope.

How can I be anything but grateful?  How can we be anything but grateful?  Each day together is a gift!  And it is a gift that merely begins today, and lasts through eternity for those who believe in Jesus their Savior.  Even on the worst of days, we are allowed the gift that some are begging for while others are taking it for granted or devaluing it.  Join me today in celebrating another day of life for yourself as well as for the ones you love most!

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
(Psalm 90:12, NIV1984)

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! Actually, the best gift is the privilege of playing on God's team as He goes about re-establishing His kingdom...and you do it well.