Today is my 30th Birthday

Today is my 30th birthday. Because it is somewhat of a milestone, and since I have a quiet day at home, inevitably my mind has been full of reflection. 

My training schedule normally has me out the door by 8:30am every morning, but once a week on a recovery day I have a “home day” - I don’t make any plans and just do my run around the neighbourhood. Lately, home days have been consistently landing on Thursdays, and what I look forward to most on these days is an unhurried morning to meet with the Lord, memorize scriptures, and pray without checking the clock and rushing out the door. And this year, my birthday is on Thursday :)

A few days ago I had a thought for the first time leading up to my birthday: “what is God going to give me?” The idea of getting a birthday present from God had never occurred to me before, but this year I wondered with expectancy.  Everyone enjoys giving a gift or doing something thoughtful to celebrate the birthdays of their loved ones, so I knew He would have something prepared for me. I was not disappointed.

My mom taught me to always toast to the Lord - He is so good.

My mom taught me to always toast to the Lord - He is so good.

Faith can be hard, especially in light of bad news, in the midst of uncertainty, sad circumstances, and even the daily grind. Sometimes I pray to Jesus and feel alone (though He never leaves us) and I don’t understand my struggles. But sometimes, like today, He blesses us with a special sense of His love, a calm assurance of his nearness, and overwhelming understanding of His goodness. This gift isn’t tangible and it can’t be explained, but I believe it will be given to everyone who would seek the Lord wholeheartedly. God is categorically the BEST gift-giver.

With the Olympic trials just around the corner (8 days away, actually) the timing of my birthday gift from God is especially valuable. The "trials" are are aptly named - rife with hope and uncertainty, anticipation and anxiety, victory and defeat. Today, the Lord gifted me a wave of peace with confidence that no matter what happens this year, next year, or ever, in Him is the ultimate hope, anticipation and victory. 

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
— Zephaniah 3:17
Though you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
— 1 Peter 1:8-9