Today is my birthday and I’m seventy years old. Seventy years old. WOW!! That means I’ve lived seventy years. Seventy years is a VERY long time. That means God has kept me alive for seventy years, through nine suicide attempts, through my mother’s attempts to kill me when I was a baby, and through all of Harry’s threats to kill me if I told anyone what he was doing to me.
I think it means I’m kind of a miracle, given all that God had to do to keep me alive through all those years and all that mess, and I thank Him for it. I’m incredibly grateful to Him for it!
But what I’m most grateful for is what Christ did on the Cross. If He hadn’t gone to the Cross and died for my sins, then all that other stuff wouldn’t be worth a hill of beans. So more than anything I’m grateful for my salvation. It’s far and away the best decision I’ve ever made.
It turns out that 70 years is equal to 25,550 days, which is the same as 613,200 hours, which translates into 36,792,000 minutes, which is equivalent to 2,207,520,004 seconds. That’s 2 billion, 207 million, 520 thousand, and 4 seconds, just in case you got lost in all those numbers like I did. And it turns out that in these same seventy years, my heart has beat 2,450,000,000 times. That’s 2 billion, 450 million times. WOW!!!
That’s a LOT of seconds, and a whole lot of heartbeats!
It may seem kind of silly for me to go from years all the way down to seconds, and even more so on the number of heartbeats, but I’m doing it to remind myself and anyone who reads this that God has been faithful in fulfilling His promises to me, and has kept me alive through thick and thin every second of every day throughout the years of my life, from the day I was born onward.
I find that amazing, given what I’ve experienced in my life! And it fills me with gratitude towards God, and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for all that they’ve done for me.
I could be dwelling on all the bad, evil, and negative stuff that’s been in my life, but what good would it do me? It’s not happening anymore. It’s in the past, and I can’t change it, or wish it away, and I certainly can’t pretend it didn’t happen. I know I relate abuse incidents that happened when I was a kid ~ things Harry or my mother did to me or whatever ~ but my purpose in doing so is to demonstrate how God has been working in me from the time I was born onward to save my life and keep me alive long enough for me to decide to accept His free gift of salvation, and then He could begin to heal me. It’s never to glorify the abuse, or the evil that was done to me.
And looking back, I don’t think I would want to change any of it. If I were to change any of my life, what would I change? Would I ask for different parents? Would I ask to be born in a different country or a different culture? If I were to change any of it, even a little bit, then I wouldn’t be me, and I’ve grown to like myself. And besides that, if I were to come from different parents ~ which could mean that there would be no abuse in my (new) background ~ then I would be someone else. I would be another person with different DNA, and different siblings, or maybe no siblings at all.
And while having a different family, and therefore different DNA, and no abuse, thereby making me a completely different me would be something to consider, I don’t think I would want anything different than what God has already given me. The main reason for this is that if I were a different person, there’s no guarantee that I would have the kind of relationship with God that I have now, and God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are the most important aspect of my life. I can’t live without them. I don’t know but what I would reject God and become an atheist if I were this different person. I would really not want that. In fact I hate the very idea of it.
While the life God has given me has been full of suffering, it’s also been a life that’s full of God, and I would much rather have a God-filled life that’s full of suffering than a life empty of God with no suffering. To me the life separated from God actually has greater suffering than a life filled with God. So I’ll take my life any day, because, though it’s been filled with suffering, it’s also been full of God, and the presence of God makes all the difference.
Jesus + nothing = EVERYTHING!!!
10My aim is to know Him, to experience the power of His resurrection, to share in His sufferings, and to be like Him in His death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. ~ Philippians 3:10-11, NET.