Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Second Birthday

We miss you, Micah, our first born son
Another year without you on your birthday
We wish that our life here, with you, had just begun
That God had not taken you away

How I would love to see
Your eyes turns bright and wide
As you open a gift from me
And to see you giggle at my side

How I would delight in you, my son
To see you smile, walk and then run
To hear your voice again, or just your cry
And together watch the years go by

But I am stuck here in this world
So far from Heaven, from God’s glory fully unfurled
Not able to see what awaits
Beyond our graves and Heaven’s pearly gates

Oh, how we wish we might
Be free from this sin and death
And in the land of unending delight
With you, my son, with life and breath

For while my gifts for you would one day break
I can only imagine what gifts you now receive
From God, who loves to give and make
Such wonderful gifts for you, we can hardly conceive

Gifts large and small, just for you
Through Jesus, who makes all things new
Even after everything that went wrong, when you fell
We know that Jesus has made you well.

So while we can’t sing you a birthday song
We hope and pray it won’t be long
‘Till we laugh and play and sing together
And marvel at God’s love and mercy forever

Monday, October 11, 2010

Micah's Legacy, Part VI: God Owns It All

Sixth, Micah’s death has taught me that God really does own it all.

Over the past year, we have sometimes struggled with God’s power and Micah’s death. God, if you are in control of all things, then why, God, did you allow this to happen? If you are in control of all things, then we did you allow our child to die? If you could have stopped him from dying, then why didn’t you? Doesn’t that make you like a murderer, God? If you took life, when you could have saved it, doesn’t that make you a murderer? Are you a murderer, God?

When we turn to scripture we find that, unlike a murderer, who has no right to take the life of our son, God does have the right to take life. In scripture, we see that plain truth that God has the right to take Micah’s life not just because he is in control of all things, but because he owns all things. In Job 41: 11, God tells Job, “Everything under heaven belongs to me.” Even when we live like God isn’t around, or when we think we can do anything with “our” money or “our” kids, that doesn’t change the fact that God does indeed own everything.

After God took everything away from Job, Job continued to praise God. In the midst of his sorrow, Job said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21. Nancy Guthrie says, “Evidently Job, long before, had figured out that his extreme wealth and blessing not only came from God but also were still God’s, while Job himself was just a steward.” Nancy Guthrie, Holding on to Hope, p. 23.

Indeed, Pastor Skip Heitzig says, “We don’t own our children. They are entrusted to us from Him, but we are only stewards of them. And since God entrusted them to us, He may decide at any time, to say, “I want them now, and I’ll take care of them from now on. I’ll surround them with My special love and mercy. I’ll give to them so much more than you could ever provide. That’s His prerogative as Sovereign God.” Skip Heitzig, Jesus, Friend of Children, p. 21.

This coming saturday night, Pastor Kenny Stokes will, Lord willing, dedicate Owen to God. Here are the words of dedication:
“Owen Robert Wessman, together with your parents you love you dearly and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life in the hope that you will belong wholly to Jesus Christ, forever.”

It is difficult, really difficult, to surrender "all worldly claims" upon our little son's life. Our natural inclinition is to holder tighter, not looser, to Owen because he know that it is possible that God would take Owen, just as He took Micah. But through Micah’s death, I have come to understand that Owen, like Micah, is owned by God. We want control of our son's life. We want ownership of him. But God has staked a claim to him. In our better moments, when we can really take into account what is best for Owen, we wouldn't want it any other way. Our hope, in forsaking any worldly claims upon Owen's life is that Owen would belong wholly to Jesus, just as Micah is now wholly with Jesus.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Marathon Fundraiser Update

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and financial contributions towards my fundraising efforts for the Micah Wessman Foundation as I ran the Twin Cities Marathon this past Sunday, October 3rd, 2010.

Here is my update:

1. Last week, I was informed that I was chosen as a "Face in the Crowd" by the organizers of the marathon. The "Face in the Crowd" program highlights the stories of 4 people participating in the marathon. Last Friday, I took part in a press conference at the St. Paul convention center in which I was able to share about Micah and our desire to help grieving parents through the Micah Wessman Foundation.

2. As part of the Faces in the Crowd program, I was interviewed for the Twin Cities Marathon television show, which will air at 7 pm this Thursday night (October 7th), on Fox Sports North. I pray that, somehow, my interview and the information shared about the Micah Wessman Foundation would be passed on to some grieving parents. I hope to post the interview to the blog, once I obtain a copy of it.

3. Between donations and additional pledges, we have been able to raise $3,534.70 to date for the foundation! We are so grateful for friends and family who have encouraged us in our ministry through their generous contributions.

4. I was able to finish the marathon in a personal best time of 3 hours, 32 minutes, 25 seconds. It was a tremendous experience. The weather was ideal. I knew every part of the race course, having run all parts of the course at various times over this past spring and summer. There were approximately 11,000 people who started the marathon, and an estimated crowed of 300,000 people turned out to watch the race in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Thanks to all who prayed me through the run on Sunday morning!

Heather and I continue to be so grateful for friends, family, work colleagues, neighbors, and others we barely know who have showered us with kindness in so many ways. Thank you.