“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world” (John Milton).
Yesterday was a “transcendent moment of awe” for our family as we welcomed Wesley Noah Denison into the world. Our lives are changed forever by this baby boy. He will never remember the day of his birth, but we will never forget it.
Wesley’s parents are our younger son, Craig, and his wife, Rachel. Craig directs brand strategy for our ministry and writes First15, our daily devotional. Rachel writes for their website, Craig + Rachel Denison, and for www.christianparenting.org. Both are remarkable musicians and worship leaders. And both love Jesus as passionately and intimately as anyone I have ever known.
Today they can say with Hannah, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him” (1 Samuel 2:27). From the moment we knew of Wesley’s conception, our family has prayed diligently for him. Today we are rejoicing in the miracle of his birth with hearts overflowing with gratitude to God.
Carl Sandburg was right: “A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
God did not make this little boy because the world needed another human to join the 7.4 billion of us already here. The Lord made Wesley because he wanted another child he could love. As much as we already love this baby, his heavenly Father loves him more. In fact, he loves Wesley as much as he loves his own Son (John 17:26).
We cannot imagine the world Wesley will know. The technological advances, the cultural changes, the geopolitical shifts ahead are all unseen to us and to him. As John F. Kennedy noted, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
But God knew that Wesley should be alive for this time in history. Just as our Lord has a will for where we should live, he has a will for when we should live. It is by his providence that Wesley was born yesterday and not a century ago or a century from now (if Jesus tarries).
Today our family is dedicating Wesley to God. But in a very real sense, we cannot do for him what he can do only for himself. The time must come when he makes his parents’ Lord his own, when he trusts in the God who gave him life and wants to give him life eternal.
And so we are dedicating ourselves to God on Wesley’s behalf. We pray that our lives will point him to Jesus so that he will follow our faith to our Father.
As we celebrate the miracle that is Wesley Noah Denison, I invite you to thank the Father for the miracle that is your life. You are alive another day because you have more to do for Jesus. As the great evangelist George Whitefield noted, “We are immortal until our work on earth is done.”
Wesley’s work has just begun. Thanks be to God.