Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Micah at 5 Years Old

Today marks our son Micah's 5th birthday. As in each of the past few years, we will mark his birthday later today by birthday cupcakes eaten by our living children, and after a birthday song, birthday candles blown out by Micah's exuberant (although somewhat confused) younger siblings. It's also typically marked by a visit to the grave and by a few tears. With each passing year, we've grown increasingly certain that while God has already used Micah's life and death to accomplish some good and noble purposes, we can't hope to possibly understand all those purposes on this side of eternity. As with most grieving parents, we yearn to know what those purposes are; to be able to offset the pain and anguish we have experienced by reason of his shortened life and death with tangible and noteworthy eternal purposes. We have already greatly benefitted from the knowledge of certain blessings that have arisen by reason of Micah's death. But we groan to know more. We groan to know what blessings have come to us and others by reason of these present sufferings. In one of the passages that Heather and I most frequently recite to one another in encouragement, Paul tells us, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God....And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved..." Romans 8:18, 19, 23. Tonight, if you were in our home here in Minnetonka, you would hear the sound of children celebrating a birthday. But the overriding theme here is not one of celebration, as is the case with our other birthdays, but one of groaning. Just as in Paul's letter to the Romans, we have a heartfelt desire for what is ahead. For every human suffering through this present age, Christ is our only hope. For at that great day of Reunion, when Christ meets us face to face, we will have our greatest appetites for glory met in God, our thirst for significance in suffering fully satisfied in our Savior. We will see how all our sufferings, both large and small, were worked out in these past few temporal earthly days, and that our son Micah's short life on earth accomplished more than we can ever currently possibly conceive.

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