This week two of my sons have birthdays. Jesse (on the left below) turned 29 on Sunday and Josh (on the right further down) will be 34 on Thursday. It’s strange that I typed that sentence. One of the signs of true aging (verses the 20 or 30-somethings that just think they’re old) is that you say things like, “I can’t believe how fast time flies” or “How in the world did my kids get that old?”
But the fact is at nearly 58 I will be officially in my late 50’s when I have my birthday in August. That qualifies me to talk like an old person.
Today I’m thinking about the things I love about aging. Our culture doesn’t value aging, and I’m one of the baby boomers who has been sold the lie that aging is a bad thing that should be disguised as much as possible. I even tell people how old I am to do just a little thing to demonstrate I’m not ashamed of my age. But I do cover my gray so there’s a part of me that still doesn’t want to look it.
One of the things I cherish about aging is watching my children become adults. My adorable little tow heads who used to have air bands to Lion King songs in the basement and did “Mediocre Magicians” shows using our first huge video camera, are grown men with families of their own. They work hard (actually, Josh is Jesse’s boss); seek to provide godly leadership for their wives and children; and are lovingly devoted to our large extended family.
Yet the thing I am most grateful for this week is their passion for the Lord and His church. You see, last Sunday was the official launch for Redeemer Church. For the first time, Jesse and his family joined our months-old church. Mom/Granma was thrilled because, amazingly, God moved each of our children’s hearts to be a part of this. Josh and Jesse (and their wonderful wives) have sacrificed greatly to be a part of Redeemer.
When they were young, their dad was working hard to build another church up in Northern Virginia. Josh, and later Jesse, drove early with Daddy to help unload equipment or set up the book/tape tables. Before long, Josh was working in the sound booth and Jesse proudly served as an usher. Before we knew it, Josh was leading worship for the youth ministry and Jesse ended up serving as a pastor-in-training here in Florida.
When they decided to leave the church they love and join a small group of people to start Redeemer Church, both couples said one of the main reasons for this was that they wanted their children to grow up serving on a church plant. For the past several months 7-year-old JJ has been joining Josh early to help unload sound equipment. This week, Jesse’s three toddlers were mingling with the other children before the meeting for their first Sunday there. It’s only a matter of time before they join Daddy doing things that makes little boys feel strong.
Benny and I prayed our children would love the church. God heard our prayers and has answered them in a big way.
If you have young children, don’t stop praying. Don’t stop praying when it seems He’s not listening. Don’t stop praying when your children go through seasons of spiritual apathy or rebellion. And if you do stop praying, don’t feel guilty about that and neglect to start praying again. Can you tell I’m speaking from experience? I am.
Pray for your children or future children. And remember, there are little people to come that will benefit from the grace of God as He answers your prayers.
In a big way.
Happy birthday, Josh and Jesse. Because of God’s faithfulness in your lives, Mom is finding aging to be not so bad.