We had a big weekend for celebrations. My daughter turned 17 on Saturday and we also celebrated our niece’s first birthday the same day (her actual birthday was a couple days earlier). It was crazy thinking about how quickly the years go by. It doesn’t seem that long ago that our daughter was turning one and now she’s driving! (Consider this fair warning to anyone traveling the northeast side of San Antonio… 🙂 We also had a send-off party for some friends that are moving to Colorado.
Perhaps I’ll get into how poorly my restraint lasted going from one party to the next on a future post, but today I really wanted to talk about the importance of celebrating milestones and events in our lives.
The Bible tells us often to celebrate the good things that have happened whether they be current or in the past. Awhile back I was reading in Nehemiah where the nation of Israel was meeting back in Jerusalem for the first time after being scattered across the Persian Empire. Nehemiah had gone back to restore the walls of the city after they had been torn down many years before. Israel had been wiped out and the Jews had been scattered across the known world. But the Lord put it on the heart of Nehemiah to return, rebuild the walls, and bring the people of Israel back together again. This was crazy as the Lord also willed this all to happen with the approval and financial backing of King Artexerxes, the ruler of the Persian Empire.
So, chapter 8 finds the Israelites assembling again for the first time in the re-built walls for the reading of their sacred texts. For many this would have been a somber event. They would likely have been thinking of past relatives who had lived there or spoke of it. Many had probably never been there as they’d only lived in captivity elsewhere. And yet Nehemiah shares in verse 10,
“Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”
You’ve probably heard that last part before. Did you know it was coupled with a call for celebration? God wants us to enjoy our lives and mark the good times. I hope you’ll take solace in His strength and find joy in sharing life (and food) with others.
After this weekend, I’ll be going back and re-reading last week’s post, You need rest 😛
Please like, share and comment below. I’d love to hear how you celebrate in your family. Be blessed this week!