Today my little boy is 4 months old. My how the time has flown by! I absolutely love spending time with him and one of the things that brings me the greatest joy is to see how much he trusts me to care for him and meet his needs. When he sees me coming, he will often break into a huge smile for just that reason.
Last week, I had an interesting experience with him that taught me about trust. He and I were sitting on the couch, and I was nursing him. He was half-asleep, drinking his milk. My husband was in the other room where he was doing a construction project. He turned on his very loud Shop-Vac to vacuum up some debris, and in that moment, my startled son’s eyes popped open. They communicated a mixture of shock and fear. The sound had clearly caught his attention.
I was expecting him to cry or become upset, but he didn’t. Instead, he quickly closed his eyes and settled back to nursing, unconcerned. As he did, he taught me a lesson about faith and trust in the Lord.
Had the sound shocked him? Yes. Had it perhaps frightened him? Yes. But did it worry him or cause him to get upset? No. Why not? Because he was in his safe place. He was cuddled up with his mom, who he knows from experience will meet his needs and protect him.
As I watched how quickly he went from shock to perfect peace, I thought about my relationship with the Lord and realized that I want to have the kind of faith in God that my son has in me. Will things in life startle and shock me? Yes. But they don’t have to shake me, upset me, or cause me to worry. Instead, if I remain close to Him; if I hide my life in Him; if I rest in who He is — my God and Father who is able to meet all of my needs — then nothing will be able to rob me of my peace.
My oldest grandson turned thirteen last Sunday. I’ll not go into how that made me feel. That’s a different post. But I couldn’t help but think about how this was the first birthday I wasn’t there to celebrate with him in person. Last March, he and his family moved out of state and left me here grandchild-less. The nerve!
So Sunday we called and wished him a happy birthday. He told us all the things they’d done and what they still planned to do. And that’s when it occurred to me that birthdays are another chance to worship. Not only should we celebrate the life of the birthday child, but also the Giver of that life. What would happen if we spent part of every birthday celebration in worship and thanksgiving to the One who breathed life into the one we celebrate that day? Here are a few ideas you might want to try at your next birthday celebration.
1. Make up another verse to the birthday song that thanks God for the birthday child. For instance, “We thank You for John. We thank You for John. You gave John life. We thank You for John.” How many verses can you come up with?
2. Instead of having a child make a wish when he blows out his birthday candles, have him say a silent prayer. Explain how prayers go straight to God–someone who can actually answer them–while wishes just blow away in the wind.
3. Decorate your party with homemade decorations. Have everyone in the family write one thing they love about the beautiful creation that is your child and hang up the signs all over the house. Celebrate the child and the Creator who made him.
4. Teach your children Genesis 2:7. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Recite it together every birthday as a reminder that God gives us our life and breath.
Birthdays are special days and it’s wonderful to celebrate them with those we love. But to put a special twist on them, celebrate the Giver of life, too. It could become a new family tradition your children will love.
What other ways can you think of to celebrate the Creator on birthdays?