We are more than a number. Yet all throughout life, we are categorized according to numbers. What is your birth order? How many children do you have? How many years have you been married? How much do you make at your job? What size are you?  How much do you weigh? How old are you?
Phew! Feeling weary of all the numbers? The wheels of comparison spin and turn over all the numbers we use to define ourselves and our worth.
A number is a measurement, but it is not definitive by itself. And the value of that number is defined by the one who bears it. I confess that I dreaded turning the number I turned today. Wisecracks and jokes abound when you are over the proverbial hill. And yet God has been giving me such gratitude and joy that I have been allowed to see this number.
So today is my birthday. And it is marked with an odd emotion I don’t remember ever feeling on any other birthday.
Have you ever felt so defined by a number and yet like that number just does not fit you? Sure, I have children in their 20s which indicates I am no longer in my 20s, LOL, and yes, there are new wrinkles that line my face. And people can compliment me about how I don’t look my age, but I wonder if that is such a bad thing if I were to look my age, after all.
Having written my book, “Shame Off You”, I dealt with the issue of shame coming from our age and while this is not shame that I am feeling today, it is an awareness that others see me in a different light because of a number.
Jokes are shared, new limitations are mentioned, and yet I don’t feel any different than I did yesterday. So for those of you out there who feel that you are defined by your age, let me encourage you that You are not.
Just like no other label this world tries to assign on our souls could ever trump the label that Christ has given us, our age is merely a definition of how long that God has graciously given us life on this earth.
Today I have lived 50 years. 50 years. What a blessing! Age does not define us. But our response and view of that age can.  There have been years where I wanted to hide my age, I confess. But now I receive it as a challenge. Will I live this year better than I lived last year? I don’t speak of wealth that this world offers but of growth in Christ. Will I seek to love those around me more, to be aware of needs around me, and rise above all of the distractions that prevent me from being present in this incredible gift called life?
I have noticed many friends who have recently passed away or were stricken with illnesses that were beyond their control. They seemed healthy and yet this unknown illness took their lives in a moment or in a season. We are not promised tomorrow and so today, embrace whatever age you are at. Live it fully. Live it well. And don’t ever feel shame for exactly who you are, your age, your appearance, your station in this world. You are more than a number. You are a treasure, friend. By the Almighty God who made you on the very day He intended to make you and His plans for you are good. Happy birthday to you all on your own respective days. And may you also all know another very special day, a day when you choose to surrender this life that was given to you back to your Creator and become born again.

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