But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor
and put everything under their feet.” In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. Hebrews 2, verses 6-8.
Last Friday was my 50th birthday. My family threw a not-so-surprise birthday party for me over the weekend and I was blessed to have some of my closest friends and family around me for a few hours to celebrate, share food and wine, and just enjoy each other’s company. Many people have been wishing me “happy birthday” all weekend, and I’m grateful for them as well.
The best is yet to come. Verse 8 here confirms that.
To tell you the truth, fifty years went by fast. I suppose that makes me officially ‘old’ to even say that; next I’ll be saying “back in the day;” not hardly. Anyway, it went by so quickly and I have only occasionally stopped to really noodle where I fit in the overall plan of what’s called “life.” Whatever plan God has in my life He’s playing it out. As that happens, I live it. There’s too much going on, too much to see, too many good things to do to spend too much time navel-gazing and wondering what it all means.
Then I bounce up against verse 6 which reminds me that, in every generation, people do and should remind themselves that they are indeed part of God’s plan. That while we’re part of the plan, we aren’t God. That we’re so much lower than He is yet He continually lowers Himself to meet me where I am. Physically God provides for everything I know and everything I have. Spiritually He encourages me, chastises me, supports me, loves me. Emotionally He comforts me and confronts me both. Who am I that God should even think of me? Who am I, Dave the fifty year old sinner, who has done some pretty rotten things, that the God of all time, space and dimension should even give me breath? Who am I that You are mindful of me?
I’m His special creation. That’s who I am. That’s who you are. That’s who He sees us to be.
God sees us as so special that He put us in this world that contains everything we could ever need to not just survive but thrive. Love, salvation, thrill, imagination, creativity, ingenuity, logic, reason, justice, dreaming, desire, spirit, tenacity: God gives us these things that bring meaning to the blessing of the life He begins in us. Air, food, water, materials, sky, nature, invention, vocation: God also gives us all tools that we need to build a life. Jesus granted we, mankind, as the keepers and masters of His creation, entrusting us with the privilege of making the most that we can out of the place in which He made us.
In everything that God gives me, I get to see that He has blessed me. Sure, some things don’t seem like blessings at the time. Sickness, bills, problems, conflicts, even evil: I don’t want these things any more than anyone else yet my life is affected by them. Somehow, they’re a part of what God is doing here and I accept them even as I work to overcome them. In this way, I get to see how He brings good out of the bad and how He turns everything for the good of those who love Him. I get to see that, because He has been with me through my first fifty years, I know He will guide every second of these next fifty. Only He knows what will fill each of those seconds; I get to find out as we build them. Yet I know deep inside that He’ll use them for His good and that means they’ll be for my good as well.
This weekend, I read a meme that said (to the effect) “don’t spend time mourning what has happened. Spend time preparing for what’s yet to come.” That’s a good thought with which to begin this new half century.
For more reading: Psalm 8
Lord Almighty, thank You for this life you’ve given me. Thank You for blessing me with so much love, family, and plenty.