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Saturday, January 24, 2015

I know that I know nothing. (Happy Birthday to me)

I know that I know nothing, and that knowing makes me wise. Today’s my birthday. Today is the anniversary of the day God manifested a person from the union of my beloved mother and my dearly departed dad and sprung me from nothing to something. Today is the day I breathed my first, and for that I am deeply grateful.

I love birthdays; they are personal holidays. I use them as opportunities to reflect on what was, to pray and dream about what is to come. Every day is a gift, and each year evermore so. Thank You, Lord, for every new chance to do Your Will. 
Artwork by Tamara Natalie Madden

When we are young, we think we know everything. With age comes the belief that we can know everything. Among my favorite blessings of aging and perhaps the acquisition of wisdom is being freed of that burden.  As I arrive at an make my peace with this season in my life, I know, and am comfortable declaring,  that I know nothing. I do, however, know Who does.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and…

During the preceding 12 months of my life, I troubled myself less and less about things I spent so many of my former years worrying about. There are conversations undertaken, sometimes audibly with myself where I declare, “I feel anxious. My stomach is in knots; my heart is racing, I am becoming unclear.” These are the times when I draw upon the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year, specifically to “Stop manufacturing stress.” When I become aware of stress, I intentionally slow my breathing, draw my hands together as I did in prayer as a very young child, and still my mind. As I pray for quiet, I remind myself that my worry serves no purpose, that placing any faith in my ability to solve problems is a willful act of disobedience, and then, repenting, I. Let. Go.

…the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.

I know nothing, but I have gained some understanding. Do not underestimate understanding. It takes work. According to one biblical commentary on Proverbs 9, “the only knowledge worth having, and which is of avail for the practical purposes of life, is the knowledge of God.” He is all we need to know. Getting that took me half a century, but by His Grace, I got it. 

Some folks scoff at birthdays, lie about their age, or deny it all together. Granny at 96 is still my idol. She’d whip out her license at the drop of a hat to reveal a birthday that good genes and great skin belie. (I thank her for that blessing.) Every day is a gift, and each year evermore so, so why on earth would I deny any of it?

I know nothing, but seek understanding continually. I work daily to achieve greater knowledge of God. Why? Because I intend to make the best use of all the days and the years I am granted.

For by Me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. Proverbs 9:10-11 KJV

More wisdom from granny-we didn’t come here to stay. Once you make peace with that truth, living becomes about the value of our days over the number you rack up. Who wouldn’t relish a long life, filled with joy and happy memories? I have loved and lost, and appreciate that the gift of life is never to be wasted, certainly not spent on the folly of needing to be in control, needing to know every little thing. I have come to appreciate God’s desire to delight us. I’d rather not know all the blessings He has in store, nor the lessons and challenges that might accompany them. I know I couldn’t handle it. I’d likely forgo the storms that precede rainbows beyond my imaginings.  I know my place, safely hidden in the Shadow of His Wing. And that’s about all I need to know.


  1. This is so very good! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thanks. I'm learning, and among my best lessons is...thank God for Grace.
      Glad you stopped by.
      In peace,

  2. Chelle, this is beautiful! What you said here: " I troubled myself less and less about things I spent so many of my former years worrying about. " I have come to the same place. As I get older I realize more and more how faithful God is and how I can trust Him. I am trying to remember to go to Him right away when I start to worry and just breathe a prayer asking Him to help me trust. I love how you end with this: "I know my place, safely hidden in the Shadow of His Wing. And that’s about all I need to know." Thanks for sharing! I'm stopping by from #GiveMeGrace.

  3. Birthday blessings dear one! With long life will He satisfy you. So happy to count you as a friend. You're a brilliant star Chelle! Keep shining bright!

  4. Happy birthday! May you continue to walk in His favor and experience His blessings!


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