the first year

T.J.Children, ParentingLeave a Comment

Mac's 1st birthday party

I hear people say things like, “Life is tough,” “I had a long day,” “I’m really struggling with…” “I don’t know if we can afford that,” “I can never forgive you for…” and in my line of work, “I don’t know if I can take it anymore,” and even “I want to die.”

I will agree with the last one, but not for the same reasons I hear at work. I would love to die and live forever. I know one day I will. I cannot wait for that day. Praise God! Thank God He has given me the privilege and challenge of this life, before my true and everlasting life to come, to make a difference, to raise children, to be a loving husband, to be an honorable son, and to be an example of His love and life.

I cannot figure out why people ask these questions, make these statements. Is life really that tough? Especially for those of us in western society. Really? Tough?

Ok, I will agree; work can be long at times, the Adam in me struggles at times, financial obligations can be tough to discuss and handle, arguments and grudges do exist, and yes, this life can at times bring us to our knees and inspire us to desire an end.

But, have we forgotten? There is a life to come. In that life, there will be no end. Along with no end, there will be no hardship, no sin, no death. With the knowledge, the fact, of everlasting life, why do we live our lives in fear, in anger, in sorrow and sadness?

I want to explain something, rather than blog something. I do not proclaim to be the best husband, the best “dadada,” the best son, the best friend, the best cop, and most of all the best example of Christ. My marriage has numerous faults, arguments and sin. I pray daily that God guides me as the head of that relationship. Although inexperienced, I know I fall short and miss God’s mark as a father. For the amount of love my parents have shown me, my heart sincerely aches knowing I have, as a son, hurt my parents at times. Ask any friend of mine, I know I fall extremely short in comparison to our best friend, Christ. Although I am not your stereo-typical man in uniform, I assure you, I fail to take advantage of every situation God puts me in, failing to show His grace, mercy and justice, instead of my state’s, my department’s and my own.

Here is what I want to explain; I have done nothing to deserve the joy I have in my life, I have nothing to offer that pays the price for Christ’s sacrifice for me, for you. Yet, amidst a world of sin, He gave his life so that you, so that I may live with him forever, in eternity, with eternal happiness and joy.

What is this life but a single plankton in a never ending ocean of waters? Why is the thickness of your wallet important? Why is the length of your work day so taxing? Why are the struggles in your life struggles at all?

Instead of spending your time, your thoughts and your energy on the trials of this life, focus on the life to come. You may find yourself appreciating the blessings God does give you in this life, the desires of your heart that He does fulfill in this life, instead of living in constant want, sadness and uncertainty.

As I make this a goal in my life, and as I continue to live what I know and believe, I find the amount of blessing in my life is well beyond undeserved. Quite frankly, I sometimes wonder if God is truly watching me all the time. If He was, how on earth would He bless me with the things He does. I do not deserve a single ounce of it.

Praise be to God! When He sees me, He sees His son, Christ Jesus, who carried the weight of our sins, and willingly, heroically, and sacrificially accepted punishment in place of us.

Thank be to Him, that is why my life is so richly blessed.

Baby Mac is one.

I cannot begin to explain the amount of joy Mac brings into my life. The point of this post is not to summarize this past year, and even if it were, I doubt I would be able to articulate how amazing it has been.

The point of this post is to tell you that Baby Mac’s smiles, laughs, steps, falls, poops, tears, and experiences are far more important than the trials and struggles in life. Take a moment to grasp the concept of eternal life. Then, take a moment to watch Baby Mac (or your own little twerp), take a moment to watch your wife smile as you come home, take a moment to watch the waves just before they break, take a moment to listen to the wind, take a moment to count your blessings (you may fall asleep and lose count). Please, take a moment and realize what is important in this life. Please, take a moment and realize what is not important, what you need to get over, what you need to stop worrying about, and what you need to repent from. Take a moment and praise God for your life to come, thanks be to His son.

Of all the blessings in my life, I fail to comprehend three. In all three, don’t get me wrong, I know it is only because of grace and Christ’s love for me. One, why was I so lucky to be born to my parents, to my family? Why did God choose me for this tremendous blessing instead of Joe Shmo from Coca-Man-Due (probably not a real name in that made up country)? Two, why was I so lucky to find Kelli? Why was I so lucky that she fell in love with me? Why me and not someone else? Third, why was I so lucky to have children? Why me?

Well… duh. That is God’s providence (there is never luck), His wisdom (beyond any of ours), His decision, but above all His love. I am grateful. I am humbled. I am ecstatic. I am full of joy. I pray I remember. I pray I focus. I pray I respect God’s decisions. I pray I am a good steward. I pray my flicker of a life here has some type of everlasting impact on someone else.

God is good!

Remember what is eternal and what is not.

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