Happy Birthday – Here’s Your Dirt

I write this post in anticipation of joy.  Based on many past experiences (and one in particular), I feel I am on solid ground to expect some genuine joy and exuberance this weekend.  I’m going to risk taking you into my confidence here.  My son is turning five this weekend, and isn’t quite old enough to be reading my blog with any regularity, so I’m counting on you not to spoil the surprise for him.

His big birthday present this year is going to be a pile of dirt.  His Nana is participating in the emergence and celebration of his young masculinity by ordering a big ole pile of river silt to be dumped in a great mound in our back yard near the live oak.  I can’t remember the last time I so looked forward to a birthday party!  I realize I will be the guy responsible for shaping up the big mound to get it ready for childhood exploration and adventure, at least until the first good rain helps it to settle into place with some measure of permanancy.  But that won’t even seem like work, when it is for such a think of beauty as a huge heap of soil.

Jesus once said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”  Several things come to mind.  I am grateful to God for helping me grow in my ability to give good gifts to my son – gifts that really matter and that help to mold him into a man after God’s own heart, rather than gifts that simply fill up a few moments with enjoyable distraction.   (The free dirt pile in the neighborhood disappeared before I had a chance to haul it to our backyard, so my mother-in-law graciously offered to buy him a load of top grade river silt.  Man, did I come out easy on this gift idea!)

As I consider these words of Jesus, and revel in the anticipation of the joy my son and his friends will find in the new “playground,” I am overwhelmed at the realization that my delight in bringing joy to my son is but a dim reflection of the delight my Father takes in bringing joy into my life.  Is it any wonder the stories of Jesus’ life and message are called “Good News” (Gospels)?!!  What really blows me away is the second half of this joyful message of Jesus.  “…how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!”  Two things are worth some serious exploration here.  Do I know the difference between good gifts and bad gifts, with regard to my desires for my own life?  And how willing am I to boldly and confidently ask my loving Father to delight us both by giving me these good gifts?

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever.  Amen!”

With Hope in Him,


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