and what with rationing, my father away at war,
and her own ideas of priorities of life
my mother never made any sort of fuss about birthdays.
My first birthday cake was my 50th,
so you get a fair idea of how I regarded the importance
of celebrating my birthday too.
(I did ensure everybody else got a cake, lest you get the wrong idea).
Oh while I'm preventing misunderstandings
that was the Second World War not First, I hasten to add.
Things are getting serious enough on the age stakes
without adding any more years willynilly.
Anyway this year was a biggy so there wasn't just one cake but two,
and it was a truly beautiful day.
The celebrations began with a bouquet from my brother arriving at the door
quite early, (hence the dressing gown), the morning before my birthday.
- And that's when I began to feel all wobbly inside, and distinctly weepy.
Then the truth dawned.
Down the years I have had some serious illness.
Twice wasn't expected to live, and the medical prognosis was not good following that.
I had been laid in bed for two years, in my teens with a rheumatic/heart condition.
I have had myasthenia gravis in my twenties,
with resultant on-going muscle weakness,
and yet here I am having reached my three score years and ten,
having lived a full and active life!
I realised that at some level I had believed the prognosis I'd been given
and subconsciously never expected to reach this age.
And this despite living in the day to day knowledge
that God has done a terrific healing in my life
and completed what medical science began,
but could not hope to offer me in the fullest extent that I have received it.
I don't know where you are today in your hopes and expectations,
or in your fears and disappointments,
but wherever you are I can offer you the truth of my own experience. Look beyond the realities that seem set to crush you,
and set your eyes on the promises of God, in Christ.
He alone knows the plans He has in store for us.
New International Version (©1984)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.