I cannot express the amount of joy that fills my heart as I celebrate another birthday with the people in my life.
If you were to ask me to show you proof of God’s existence, it would be as simple as showing you all the people He has allowed me to share relationships with. Not only my friends, co-workers and loved ones but also those who have hurt me in some way or have persecuted me due to my belief in the true God and the truth of Christ.
Why would I be thankful for the hurtful relationships as well as the good? Because through the difficult relationships, God’s strength in keeping me grounded in His truths and understanding has helped to strengthen my relationship with Him.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:3-5)
Though I can attest that I have not always handled all those difficult relationships in a Christ-like manner, even when that does happen the Holy Spirit convicts me of the error of how the situations were handled and allows me to reflect and understand my need of repentance for my errors. To accept the sin and repent is better than ignorance or refusal to accept the sin and to continue in it.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: (1 Peter 1:13-14)
On the other side of the spectrum, the relations I share with those who love and support me are a reaffirmation of God’s grace and blessing for allowing me to meet and interact with them in a manner that not only helps me to display Christ in my actions, thoughts and words but also as a support for me as I experience God’s love and care through the people around me.
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
So as another year rolls around with new experiences, new memories and new established relationships, I thank God for all the people in my life up to now, and continually am grateful for the love and care that those around me give. Thank you all for being such wonderful friends, colleagues and loving supporters.