Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy the man with lots of children?

Psalm 127:4-5 says, "As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Being a former Gothardite I took this scripture to heart; my wife and I have eight (8) sons.

It was fine when they were small, but as they have gone their own way and chosen their own lifestyle, some of them much earlier than they should, I have struggled with my emotions over their choices and actions. I have never cried so much as I have with several of my children and I have often been anything but happy, sometimes at the point of despair.

Psalms 127:5 has haunted me and over this past year, or so, and I have secretly questioned the validity of that verse, asking God where that "happy" is that I am supposed to be experiencing.

There are several things that I have decided along the way, not the least of which is that life is not over and God's work in my children is not finished; it is very likely that as they mature I shall become happy and grateful for God's directive and my choice to have them. Each time I bring my sorrow to Christ I am reminded of my many blessings.

Today God pointed out that I am happy with and in Him and my struggles with the things most dear to my heart have moved me to seek Him more. He comforts my sorrow and gives hope in the future. It was then I realized that Psalm 127:5 doesn't say the man with many children will be happy with and in those children. Coupled with the scripture from Colossians 3:1-3, where it says to set my affections on things above and not on things on the earth, I realized the happiness is from learning how to move my affections from the natural love of my children to the supernatural love for Christ, to draw comfort from Christ's care and his presence in the midst of distress.

I am truly happy and, perhaps, had I not chosen to have the number of children I have I would not have become so.


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