Ezra…the mere mention of your name creates a ripple of feelings in my inner being; strong feelings, happy feelings, sentimental feelings, feelings of love, feelings of excitement, feelings of passionate longing for you to be here, and perhaps, at times, some nervous feelings. You know, the type of feeling that makes you think to yourself, “Am I really ready for this?” Alongside all of those feelings comes a very deep sense of the monumental privilege and responsibility that has now been placed on my shoulders to fulfill the role of being your daddy. However, the truth of the matter is that my shoulders aren’t even close to being strong enough to bear the weight of this. That’s why I am beyond thankful that the same One who gave me the task is the One who will supply the strength to fulfill it. I am begging Him to help me, daily, as I stand at the threshold of your life.
You see, this is the same One who created you. He is the same One who created the fiery sun, the massive mountains, and the raging seas. Not only did He create all things, but He is the one who sustains all things and directs their courses throughout history. It is in the midst of all this that he has created you. Every single day I wake up and I am struck, much like a pioneer must be struck when he discovers a new, beautiful, and fertile landscape that no one has ever seen or touched. I am positively mind-blown that our good Father has seen fit to use your mother and me to bring you into existence. It is one of the greatest joys I will ever have in this life.
My son, as much as I want to say that I know you will be a great man and will achieve great things in your life, I simply can’t. But there are several things I can say without one iota of doubt in my heart. First of all, I can confidently say that our great God and Father loves you more than I or your mother could ever dream of loving you (and that is saying a lot!). Secondly, I can confidently say that though this world is full of pain and sorrow, which certainly will not fail to touch you more than once along the journey, our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, has suffered in your place so that you may never experience the ultimate pain and sorrow of eternity separated from Him. Finally, I can confidently say that your life is not about you. Though everything inside of you and outside of you is going to be telling you differently and pulling you in a million different directions, your Creator has made you for the purpose of worshiping Him and leading others to worship him. Without a doubt, this is an extremely hard purpose to fulfill. Not only that, it is absolutely impossible to do it on your own. Much like the task given to me of being your daddy, worshiping the Father can only be done through the strength He provides. However, there is a difference in the comparison. Remember I said that being your father is one of the greatest joys I will ever have in this life? Well, being a child of God and living a life of worship (in much humility and repentance) to him is THE greatest joy you or anyone else will ever have. Not only does it make life worth living, but it is where life itself is found and it gives meaning to all of the other joys in life.
With these truths in sight, your mother and I are praying even now for your precious and “planned from before time began” life.
We are praying that the thing you remember the MOST from us as parents is not simply how much we love you (although you better not forget it!), but how much God loves you. If, by God’s grace, you catch this and know this truth with all of your heart, you will do well.
With that foundation, we also pray, and most importantly so, that God will grab your heart and that He would reach down and save you from your sin and the death to which it leads. We pray that you would hear and receive the only true gospel. We pray that the Holy Spirit would open your eyes and give you faith to believe and surrender your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. We pray with tears in our eyes. We pray with fear of the alternative. We pray with trust in a faithful God.
Lastly, we pray that God would cause you to be what he made you to be, a worshiper. Not only that, we pray that he would cause you to be a great worship leader throughout your lifetime. We pray that you would be so in love with Jesus and so in awe of how great God is that you wouldn’t be able to help but speak and tell about him. We pray that he would use you to transform lives by being a minister of reconciliation. We pray that you would love the least of these as He has loved you. We pray that Satan would tremble when he hears your name, not because of how great a man you are, but because of the God that dwells inside of you and controls your every step.
So, while your mommy and I sit night after night dreaming together of holding you for the very first time, hearing your first words, and changing your diaper, we also have bigger dreams for you because we know that your heavenly Father has big dreams for you that He has been planning from before time began. So we wait, dream, and pray for you. And we won’t stop.
Louis Griffin -Director of Worship at Christ Coveant Church