Yep, you guessed it–it’s my birthday! But today is so much more . . .
“On April 25, 1953, molecular biologist James Dewey Watson’s academic paper presenting DNA’s double-helix structure (which he co-authored with British molecular biologists Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins) was published in the scientific journal, Nature.” – NationalToday.com
I’m sure you’re thrilled with the opportunity to celebrate Watson’s DNA paper.
But wait, there’s more to celebrate today!
“As recently as 2016 the world experienced 216 million new cases of malaria. Mosquitos may seem like an annoying summertime pest to people in many countries, but in others, a bite can be deadly. World Malaria Day, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), falls on April 25.” – NationalToday.com
Oh, wait, not too fond of mosquitoes? Me either.
So back to my birthday, I guess!
May I share five things I’ve learned in over 50 years of life?
1. We are surrounded by treasures.
All we need to do is pause and pay attention!
- Raindrops suspended from colorful flower petals
- Wet puppy kisses
- Bright sunshine rays streaming through the clouds
- Children laughing as they play
“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow” (James 1:17 NLT).
What is one of your favorite treasures that brings you joy in this life? Take a moment and thank God for it!
2. Our worries and fears are often much larger than reality itself.
Why spend so much time and energy on them?
Sure, make a plan and work the plan wisely, but focusing on the dread itself doesn’t help solve anything. It only feeds the fear and makes it grow. Yuck.
Jesus said, “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?” (Luke 12:24-26 NLT)
What is something that’s weighing you down with worry or fear? Take it to God today, and leave it with him. I promise you, he can handle it.
3. God’s promises hold true
One of my favorites? Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
No matter how bad today seems, God will bring some good out of it. I may not see it with my own eyes, but there’s no way for me to know the whole story with my human nearsightedness.
Do you have a life story that shows God working good out of something terrible? Perhaps you could share it and bring hope to someone struggling with a similar situation.
4. My thought life is my responsibility
I can choose to ruminate on some negative experience and stroll down the path towards bitterness and hatred.
I can focus on what’s wrong with my life and sink into a pit of despair.
I can set my sights on what others are repeatedly doing wrong and end up in a sea of frustration.
OR . . .
I can follow the encouragement of God’s Word, which says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
Have you practiced fixing your thoughts, or do you let your thoughts wander where they shouldn’t?
If you need a target to begin with, make a list of things that fit the categories listed in Philippians 4:8. Keep it with you in case you need a reminder.
5. The Holy Spirit really does change a person!
How do I know? He’s changed ME! Not only am I not who I used to be, but I’m still a work in progress. There’s more changing to be done!
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control are taking over more and more of who I am, and I anticipate them continuing to grow in my life.
Can you look back and see the changes God has made in your life? Thank him for being involved in your spiritual growth!