For the glory of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Spirit at work among us:
For another year of life – for breath in my lungs and a pulse in my veins and a heart that beats at a tempo I do not set – I am thankful and offer my praise to you. You know better than any human how difficult my thirty-first year was. But just as you are the Redeemer, you are also the God of new beginnings. You know my struggles and my anxieties, just as you know my hopes and the inmost desires of my heart. You know that, despite all the blessings that attended me over the last 365 days, it was a joy to write “was” up above.
You are the God of my salvation, and this grace is of old. Today, however, I look to you as the God of new beginnings – the One whose mercy is new every morning, whose redemption is as steady and faithful as the sun that runs the sky. I ask that thirty-two will find me faithfully serving you in a church, growing as a father of two little girls, and as a husband to a wife who is no doubt an extension of your grace as well as your guidance. The psalmist writes, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Beautiful savior, you told your disciples “whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Let the delight I seek in you cultivate those desires in a manner that pleases you, and may what I ask of you each day be in genuine humility and authentic faith.
Do not be far from me, O God. As I seek to draw near to you, may you stoop low that I may glimpse your countenance and know your peace, for it is my very life – my one need in a swirling sea of wants.
You know the number of breaths my lungs will take, how may times my blood will pulse through this body, and how many beats are left for this heart. Should another 365 days come and go and I find myself still a sojourner in this world, may these words ring as true on that day as they do today.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, world without end. Amen.