Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NIV
After oversleeping this morning and rushing to get my three children fed, dressed and off to school, I stood outside on this crisp fall morning and remembered that today is special. Today I have three healthy, vibrant, loving children to feed, dress and get off to school. Today the sun is shining, my husband is off to work at a job he loves and I have my dad here on this Earth to wish a happy 65th birthday to.
Two and a half years ago my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. After his surgery we received the gut wrenching news that the cancer was not contained. It had spread to the surrounding tissue and lymph nodes and there was no cure, just treatment to prolong life. At that time all we could see was loss. Loss of health for our dad, loss of hope, loss of life. No more celebrations to be had with him, no more vacations, no more Sunday dinners, no more Daddy. All we felt was devastating loss.
Today Dad is doing really well. He has the same diagnosis, but instead of seeing loss, he sees gain in each day God blesses him with. Every three months he goes to Sloan, with trepidation, for his bloodwork to see if the cancer is still being held at bay. And regardless of the results, he rides his Harley, drives his dream truck all over the country and plans his next vacation with my mom. He is living TODAY.
As I look back on that time of utter despair, I am amazed at how God has turned my view of life around completely. Instead of robbing me of time with my father, he has gifted me time with him. As I shared in previous posts, my nephew's 20 months of life came at the perfect time for all of us. For each day with Carter, unbenounced to us, was a GIFT! God sent us a real life message to "number our days". Not count the years ahead, not think about the what-if's or the potential losses, but to be present in today and not miss a moment of it. For aren't we all "terminal"? Isn't this life here on Earth just a gift, so temporary; a breathe in eternity?
Bad days will come. Trials will weigh us down in utter despair, robbing us of the ability, at times, to see the life in front of us. But praise be to God that He continues to hold us tight, carry us through those times and teach us, when we seek Him, to enjoy the days of our life and gain invaluable wisdom along the way. Don't lose today seeing the loss in front of you, but rather, see life. See the beauty, whether it be sunshine, a child's laughter, your health, employment, or candles on a cake. Make your prayer today one that slows you down and helps you to celebrate today!
Happy 65th birthday, Daddy! And thank you, Lord, that I can say those words!
If you have a moment, listen to one of my favorite songs, "Blink" by Revive, that echoes these reminders.