Tuesday, June 17, 2008
A Most Special Day
Sunday, as you know, was Father's Day. This was my very first Father's Day with my son, Evan. Over on his blog, Evan details his life and journey so far. As you have time, you might want to follow the link to his site. Warning: there are many, many cute pictures on his site, so if cute baby pictures offend you, you'd best skip it!
Evan has changed my life, I have no doubt about that. Evan is so innocent, so loving, and so good. My wife and I are truly blessed that the Lord looked down from heaven and gave us Evan as our son. I have no doubt that the Lord knows what He is doing, all the time, however, in this situation, He really went out of His way to give us a great son. Even at 4 1/2 months old, Evan really does enjoy life. He laughs, he smiles, and he brightens up when either my wife or I walk into the room. Talk about building your ego--Evan knows how to do it.
So, Sunday was special because of Father's Day; it was also special because Evan was dedicated during morning worship. Our family traveled up to my wife's hometown in Kentucky for a weekend with her family. While that was special, that was only a small part of the reason we went to Kentucky--we also had Evan dedicated during the service. Now, if you aren't Baptist or from our worship tradition, you might not understand a dedication service. Dedication isn't baptism. In Baptist tradition, baptism is reserved for those who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their person Savior and Lord.
Dedication, on the other hand, is simply dedicating the child, the parents, and the church family to the Lord, all agreeing to work together in helping to raise the child.
I must say, even if I am biased, Evan was a perfect angel during his dedication. Prior to worship, he ate some of his bottle and got really comfortable in my lap. As the worship service was beginning, Evan fell asleep in my arms and stayed asleep until it was time for his dedication to begin. My wife and I went up to the front of the church, as Evan slept in my arms. The pastor introduced us to the congregation and introduced Evan to them as well. Then, the real test came along--I was to hand Evan over to the pastor. My biggest fear was that Evan would wake up, realize that he wasn't in his mom's or dad's arms, and begin screaming at the top of his lungs. Fortunately, when he woke up, he simply looked up at the pastor and the congregation, hardly making a sound the entire time! He made us so proud!
Evan's dedication service will forever be a special memory for our family. The service was short and in the history of the world, will go down as nothing more than an insignficant event for every one but a few of us.
Evan's dedication, for his parents, was an event we will never forget. The commitment we made to the Lord will reside in our hearts for the rest of our days on earth. We will do our very best to maintain those promises. We will work hard to honor our commitment to God and to our raising of our son.
We aren't foolish. We know how difficult it will be to raise Evan. It will be challenging every day, I am sure. To be honest, it already is a challenge. At times, his crying gets on our last nerve. At other times, having him get up at 4:00 AM (as he did today), causes major exhaustion for us.
Was having Evan worth the challenges, crying, exhaustion, extra expenses of diapers, formula, and clothes? You better believe it!
Evan is a real joy. You can't help but look into his eyes and realize that there is long-term hope for the world. God still loves His children and is preparing the next generation to come behind us. My wife and I pray that we will be all that we can and should be for Evan and all that we have promised we will be.
As you pray, we'd appreciate your prayers as well. Just maybe, the most difficult job in the entire world is raising a child. Your prayers would mean much to us. You might want to pray for Evan--knowing his parents, he's going to need all the prayers he can get!