At my age, birthdays are something I would prefer to forget rather than celebrate. Yet the greetings of “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” continue, and I’m always grateful for the nice sentiments.
This got me thinking of the story of Job. He had a happy life at the beginning and the end, but the middle was pretty rough.
Thankfully, we don’t have to get stuck in the middle of the story.
At one point, Job was not a big fan of his birthday. A season of incredibly severe trials had begun, and he cursed the day he was born:
Obliterate the day I was born.
Blank out the night I was conceived!
Let it be a black hole in space.
May God above forget it ever happened.
Erase it from the books!
May the day of my birth be buried in deep darkness,
shrouded by the fog,
swallowed by the night.
And the night of my conception—the devil take it!
Rip the date off the calendar,
delete it from the almanac.
Oh, turn that night into pure nothingness—
no sounds of pleasure from that night, ever!
May those who are good at cursing curse that day (Job 3:1-10 MSG).
Wow. An extreme reaction, don’t you think? But at that moment Job had forgotten his past blessings and wasn’t anticipating a better life in the days ahead.
I hope you never have a melancholic birthday like Job was experiencing. But even if you do, his story provides good news—a happy ending!
God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life…Job lived on another 140 years, living to see his children and grandchildren—four generations of them! Then he died—an old man, a full life (Job 42:12-17 MSG).
How cool that 140 years after Job wanted his life to end, everything had changed. He was experiencing a full, blessed life, all the way to the end.
So…I hope all your birthdays are happy ones. But even if they aren’t, you can find hope and comfort in the story of Job. God is a God of turnarounds and new beginnings. Your “later life” can be even more blessed than your earlier life!
Like Job, you may be facing pain in your body or losses of your property and relationships. But we’re told that “God restored his fortune—and then doubled it!” (Job 42:10 MSG). Yes, Job got double for all his trouble.
It may take 42 chapters, as it did for Job, but your story can have a happy ending too. You don’t have to get stuck in a melancholic birthday. The Lord can restore what you’ve lost—and even given you more.
Great article Jim!
Thanks Jim, we love and appreciate you, your words are an inspiration to everyone.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Do you know? Well….do yah, punk?