It’s hard to imagine that it has been six years since you were born. While I wasn’t physically by your side at that moment, God was, and he had been preparing your forever family for a long time.
This morning I tried to imagine the setting of your birthdate. I tried to visualize the rough conditions and the unsure health status of your birth parents. Your birth father would die 1 month later and your birth mother would die 5 months later.
All the while, God was watching over you. He was watching out for you. And, simply, he was just watching you (Ps. 139:13-16).
I often thank God for choosing me to be your forever father. There are a million of other guys he could have allowed the privilege to father such a precious boy, but for whatever reason, he chose me. There are men that are smarter, more talented, funnier, richer, and better looking than your father, but I can’t imagine anyone loving you like I do.
From the moment God placed you on our hearts, I would do absolutely anything to bring you home. From the moment I held you in my arms, someone would have to go through me to get to you. And this morning, as we talked in the recliner about what it means to be six, I promise again that I will do everything within my power to point you to Jesus.
I love the picture above taken from “Knowing Jesus” a few weeks ago. You are positioned where you always want to be – at my right hand. During practices and sound checks, and even when we get to sing together, that’s your favorite spot.
You have my mannerisms and facial expressions when you sing and play – oh, help us all!
You open your mouth to sing like I do. You stomp that right foot just like your dad. You get that serious expression on your face when the guitar part gets going just like me.
It’s not just on the stage, you are at my right hand just about anywhere I go. In the yard, you have your work gloves on ready to learn from me and “work hard like a man.” On a simple trip, you have to be with me in the pickup asking me questions about what you see along the way. Every step of the way, you are my sidekick attached to my right side either grabbing me by the hand or pointing out something you observe.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My life would be incomplete without you, Eli. You are my son. You are my sidekick. You are at my right hand.
When someone sits at the right hand, it designates a place of honor. After Jesus is crucified, resurrected, and ascended, he sits down at the right hand of the throne of his Father (Heb. 10:11-12; Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69; Eph. 1:20; Col. 3:1; Heb. 1:3; Heb. 1:13; Heb. 8:10; Heb. 12:2). It’s a very special and unique positioning.
For whatever reason, you want to be there with me. At this moment in time, you are fixed on me. And that honors me and terrifies me all at the same time.
I am honored that such a special, young boy who is the most resilient person I have ever met, sees something in me which he desires to observe and emulate. I am terrified because I want to be a good example for you. If you just copy and paste my life, would I be pleased? I don’t want to let you down.
On your sixth birthday, I am reminded of my calling as your father.
If you are going to imitate me, I want you to have something worthwhile to imitate.
Never forget: you are mine. I love you. You have so much to offer this world.
And I pray that I live in a manner so that you could wholeheartedly follow this verse when you think of me:
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. -Heb. 13:7