I'm about eight weeks away from holding my son for the first time. Today I'm overwhelmed by the excitement of that. I'm wondering what I will feel. Will I cry? Will I have a heart exploding with joy? Will I be able to do nothing in response but kiss him and my wife? Will I be struck with terror?
This morning I got to speak with some men that I deeply respect as they talked about their children. Their children range from very little to their 40's. They spoke of the paths their children have taken. They spoke of children that took a very direct path to Jesus and those whose path was corkscrewed. As they shared about their children I thought about how the same little boy I'll hold in my arms will cause all kinds of joy and sorrow for me. How the boy that I hold might one day rebel. I thought about how the men I greatly admir have children that took various paths and I felt my utter lack of control for my son's path.
I will do my best to raise my son. My wife will do her best to raise him, but we need help. We will get help from the wisdom of our parents. I will get it from other men who know better than I do. My wife will get help from godly women who are great mothers. But even with all this help we still won't have complete control over the way our son ends up.
There is a modern hymn that I want sung on the day we dedicate our son to the Lord at church. The hymn is "Because He Lives" by Bill and Gloria Gaither. In 1970 Bill and Gloria were expecting their son Benji and they worried about the world he would be born into. They worried about all the things outside of their control that could harm him. Then one day Gloria felt a calm inspired by the Gospel and she and Bill wrote the song. Below are the lyrics that give me comfort as I eagerly await holding my son and wonder about all life might hold for him.
"How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he brings;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know, He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!"
I will make many promises to my son. I will do my job to the best of my abilities. Christine and I will raise him to love Jesus, but there's only so much we can do. We will trust Jesus with the rest. We will trust that He has good plans, even the corkscrew shaped plans.
For now I'm just going to go back to daydreaming about holding my son today.