I asked a good friend to write a post for me about my birthday. Here is what she said:
When first considering what to write in a post commemorating Melody’s birthday, I didn’t know what to say. I’ll honestly admit that I’m always a bit hard-pressed to know what to say on birthdays; it seems all too easy to slip into either generic well-wishing or unhelpful overpraise that may tempt the birthday celebrator to self-focus. So I asked myself: What is the best way I can honor Melody on her birthday?
As I reflected on this, it occurred to me how in the opening of Paul’s letters in the Bible he often speaks of his thankfulness for the Christians he is writing to. Upon leafing through the New Testament I was surprised at how many letters this is true of: Romans, I Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians. In each passage, Paul’s thankfulness is tied to the believers’ faith and God’s grace to them.
As I’ve gotten to know Melody, I have found many things to love about her: Her cheerfulness, her kindness, her sense of humor, her musicality (I’m a musician too). But it is her faith that has blessed me most. As we have shared with each other about the blessings and difficulties of the Christian life and discussed Scripture together, I have seen that Melody’s heart is for Jesus and His Word and it is her life goal that He should be lifted up. Through God’s power, she is a witness to His joyful salvation.
So will you please join me in honoring Melody by wishing her a happy birthday, and praising God for her life, her faith, and her witness—that God would be glorified through her?
In closing, I want to quote Paul as he thanks God for the Ephesian Christians (Ephesians 1:15-19a):
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all his people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his people, and his incomparable power for us who believe.
Melody, this is my prayer for you. I love you, my friend, and—