Today is a very special day, when your life was dedicated to God in the presence of our church family. I can’t tell you how excited I am to not only celebrate this day, but also as I look ahead to all that God might do through you in the days to come. I can see that God has already answered our prayers over your life, making you a blessing and delight to others, and such sweet, content and joyful little guy.
I have waited for a long time to be a mother, and you are the gift that I have been waiting for. Your sweet blue eyes, precious smile, and endearing cuddles are such a treasure to me. I am aware of how much I have to learn to be the mom you need, but today I was overwhelmed by God’s grace for us. Pastor Vic spoke in the sermon today about Simon Peter in the Bible, and his commitment to Christ, and I couldn’t help but think about you, and how I pray that you will follow God with your whole heart. I reflect on John 6: 60-71, the passage from this morning –
The Words of Eternal Life
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.
This morning, as we rushed around to get to church on time, I was a bit careless with my words and anxious that the event at church would go well. Praise God that His Words always bring life, even when ours do not. This has been a hard season of life, but you have been a bright light in the midst of all we have faced. I say this to tell you that there will be trying seasons, and just as the ways of Jesus did not always make sense to the disciples, they will not always be clear to you. In these moments, a choice to trust in the heart of God will lessen the heat of life’s trials. You may want to walk away from God, your family, or the ways of godly living that we will strive to teach you. Your Dad and I have both struggled at times to trust God, and in truth, all believers do at one time or another. Do not be surprised by the sin in your heart, a faltering faith, or the confusion you may face during difficult circumstances. God is not surprised, nor will He distance Himself from you if you struggle to believe.
In this chapter, John 6 – the disciples had just witnessed a miraculous event – the feeding of the 5,000. And yet, soon after, they were in a storm, and forgot what Jesus had done to provide for them. We humans are a fickle, forgetful bunch, which is why God reminds the Israelites time and time again throughout the Old Testament to remember His goodness and all that He had done for them. That “remembering” is what will stir your heart and renew your confidence in His goodness, even when life does not look how you might hope it would and God does not seem to be answering your prayers. He IS faithful, even when His answer is No, Not Yet, or Not Now. I often wondered if I would have the joy of being a mother, and though you are here now, the journey to this day has not been easy.
My prayer is that just like Simon Peter, your heart would be drawn back to Christ, no matter the circumstances, no matter the broken roads you may travel. We are all prone to wander, but I have found that the trials have, in God’s grace, peeled away my affinity for comfort, and helped me to find comfort in Christ. Many times, I have sat with the Lord, and sensed Him asking me what I was longing for…and why, in the midst of the trial, I was willing to come back to Him. In truth, there have been many hard days when that was not my desire, as being a Christ follower is difficult and the narrow road painful at times. But the mercy of God has ruined me for anything but fellowship with Him, and I pray that will be the case in your life. I do not desire that you experience hardship, and yet, I know that sometimes that is the only way. Perhaps you will be a fast learner – I truly hope so! But I pray that ‘the Hound of Heaven’ would pursue your heart in the midst of it all, and just like Simon Peter, you would have no where to go but the Holy One of God, to be filled with eternal words of life.
I pray as well, that just like King David, you would be a man after God’s own heart. Do not be surprised at your weaknesses as I was when my storms first started rolling in. I pray that you would allow your weaknesses, your sin, and your storms to not leave you in despair, but move you from self-focus to a focus on the glory of God in the midst of it all. Though your Dad and I want the world for you, and will train you in the ways of righteousness and wisdom, we will not be surprised if you fall. Our hope is in the Great God and King, Jesus Christ – not in our own power, or in your performance. Just the same, I pray that your successes would not draw you away from God or cause you to become prideful in your own abilities, but rather amazed at God’s grace working within you. You are a precious child of God, known since the beginning of time, and He alone empowers you to live a life pleasing in His eyes. When you succeed – point to Him. And if you fall – point to Him. We’ll be with you in it all – the good, the bad, and the in between.
We pray that just as our Father God accepts us no matter our choices, you will know without a shadow of a doubt that you are always accepted in our home. Both Simon Peter and King David made poor choices along the way, and yet, their lives are remembered as men who sincerely followed after the heart of God, willing to sacrifice for the glory of His name and the furtherance of His kingdom. May their lives inspire holiness in you, and assure you of grace as well. May the Words of Christ and the peace and power of the Gospel permeate your life, flow from your thoughts, words and deeds, and inspire those around you. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is the only One who can fill your soul, and I pray that your heart will be restless when you are apart from Him, but deeply satisfied when you are sitting and feasting in His presence.
The storms come in all of our lives, and the doubts may roll in with them as well – but I pray that God uses those storms to change your desire for earthly bread, to a hunger for the True Bread of Life.
With grateful hearts and abundant love for you, dear son,
Your Mama & Daddy