This past week we celebrated our son’s first birthday, and I found myself with tear-filled eyes reflecting on this sweet journey with our boy. There were so many firsts — first smile; first laugh; first crawl; first poop explosion (who knew parenthood led to infinite conversations about poop?). This time last year we carried him around our home with careful hands. Today, we chase him about the house in an attempt to keep things semi in order. And throughout this time we have watched his personality take shape and his independence soar.
There is a portion of my mama heart that desires to hold him close and rock him tightly against my chest — to remind him that he is safe here; that he is loved. And in the midst of my desire to remind our son of our love for him, God prompts my thoughts toward His sovereign love for His children. And certainly we are “his,” we belong not to ourselves or each other, but to God. Our son is not mine to hold forever. He is a gift. His heart and his life belong to his Creator – a Father who loves him in ways greater than my comprehension.
My husband recently began praying that our son’s life be about the Kingdom. What a beautiful thought. But if I am honest – the reality of this prayer makes it tough to speak. I know full well that this path is not an easy one. Scripture promises trial. There will be hard days ahead. But what if it is these hard days that God uses to produce within our son a character marked by endurance and steadfast faith?
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
I know that the hardest lessons in life are a refining and gracious gift from our Father. And it is my prayer that our son grow in assurance of grace, with an understanding that Jesus is his greatest gift. But I know that in order to get there, he must be brought low – because from birth, his life was marked by sin (Romans 5:12). And so, today I’ll take a deep breath and place my trust in the Lord pleading with open arms that he take hold of our son’s heart teaching him the hard lesson of laying his life down for a greater glory.