In the early years, I could just tuck you into bed after family night and come back after you went to sleep and pray over you. Now, when you leave our house after family night, I think you know I love you and was glad you were here. I also guess that you enjoyed the meal and conversation. What I am not sure of is if you feel the sense of joy that your presence brings to Tracy and me. When I think back of time with my parents, it helps me put myself in your shoes. I know that I loved the lunches and time that we spent with them after church or on holidays. However, what I realized from talking with them afterwards was that it meant more to them than it probably did to you and me. It was our presence – simply being there with each other, being ourselves that provided the value. We’ve often talked about “family noise” and how it brings joy to my soul to hear you all laughing, looking at silly videos on your phones or just reminiscing. Yet, I know you will never really grasp the depth of what I feel, until you put your own children to bed or watch them walk out the front door.
I say this because at some point in your life you will feel what I experience. However, what I want to plant inside your mind today is the depth and breadth of how deep these feelings can be – not to me, but to Father God. Consider Isaiah 45:3b, which says: “I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor.” That is what your mom and I did when you were born to us. Your name has meaning and you have a special place and title in our hearts and in our family. That is why there is a special night every week – for us to honor and bless you. It is not just our blood heritage that is passed on to you, it is the honor and heritage of our Christian forefathers.
I get a bit overwhelmed when I read Galatians 1:15 which says” “God, set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace,” reminding me that He called you to THIS FAMILY, not another. Your position in my life gives me a limited but true sense how special I am to God because of how special you are to me. For some reason God felt you needed what your mom and I had to offer inside this family’s structure. Was it perfect – obviously not, but what you needed was here if you asked, sought out or pushed the limits of our patience. You had to know we wanted to bless you – to give you the best we could afford or whatever the situation called for.
So it is with God. He is eager for us to prosper, the same way your mom and I want you to prosper. It is that same eagerness with which we hug you and communicate our love to you upon meeting. You know we have never demanded that you follow our track in life, but to do whatever you feel led to do, because prosperity is not about money it is about four distinct concepts. Those four ideas are described with four Hebrew words: tsālacḥ which means succeeding, sākal which means insightful intelligence, tôb meaning pleasant with moral goodness, and shālēm from the word shālôm indicating there is completeness or fulfilment in your life. When you put those concepts together you get a sense of how eager God is to bless you and shower you with HIS riches in glory. Here’s your formula, that hopefully you grasp in your years with mom and I:
- Work hard, pray for God’s help and stay focused on your goals.
- Use the brains He gave you and make wise choices.
- Use your success to not just look good, but build on His investment in you.
- Realize that He is your source and then His peace will surround you, allowing you to be content.