Saturday, April 15, 2006

Christy and our new nephew Josiah Posted by Picasa


I just got a new nephew… his name is Josiah and he is beautiful. He is the son of two of my heroes: my wife’s sister, Patty and her husband, Patrick. Before they got Josiah they had Abby, who was born almost four months too early and spent six months in the hospital before she was able to go home. Patrick and Patty are everyday and all day long the most incredible example of trust in our Father and faithfulness in the midst of outrageous difficulties, confusion and trials. When I think about what a scary world this is to bring children into I rejoice for Abby and Josiah because they get to grow up in a home full of faith in and love for Jesus no matter what the world outside is doing.

I love the name Josiah. It reminds me of the Civil War… Josiah was a popular name back in those days, in fact; I have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War who had that name. I think the reason ‘Josiah’ was a such a popular name back then was that people read their Bibles more and watched Fox News less (or rather, not at all). See, Josiah was the name of one of the Kings of Judah in the Old Testament. You remember your Old Testament kings, right? First there was Saul, then David and after him Solomon. Then the nation of Israel had their own Civil War and split into two kingdoms. There was Israel, (in the North) and Judah (in the South). Israel had nineteen kings who were all total disasters. If they had been graded, they would have all gotten “F’s”. Judah was different. They had their share of “F’s” as well, but they had a few “C’s” and even a couple of “B’s”. There were only two solid “A’s”. One was Hezekiah and the other was possibly the only “A+”… Josiah.

It says in the book of 2 Kings 22 that Josiah “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” There was absolutely no one like him! He became king of Judah at the age of 8. He had responsibility and leadership before some kids lose their front two teeth. He turned the nation’s heart back to the Lord, destroying their idols and celebrating Passover for the first time in centuries. He didn’t learn it from his dad either… See, Josiah had a granddad named Manasseh who was described as one of the worst people who ever lived… and Josiah’s dad, Amon wasn’t any better. So, how did he become so awesome? I don’t really know. It was probably some mystical and unknowable combination of God working in his heart, him loving the Lord, some advisors and counselors who had a heart for God, and some great Aunt Lulu who prayed for him everyday. Paul says none of us really knows how growth happens… we plant, they water, and God makes things grow. Somehow Josiah grew strong in the Lord.

Then when he was 26 (my age as I sit here and type this out) something happened. He ordered that the temple of God be restored and renovated. It was a huge project to restore the beauty and grandeur of God’s house, and it was going great when Josiah’s secretary ran into the throne room breathless… “My Lord,” he said, “We were cleaning out this closet up at the temple, and I found something…” “What?” The secretary looked at Josiah and said, “I found the Bible.” See, it turns out that for years and years (who knows how long) the entire nation was going about its business as usual while no one was reading God’s word! The Bible was covered in cobwebs in some closet! When Josiah heard this he said, “Well, come on… read it.” When they read the words of God to this young man, he lost it. He was completely distraught. That was the moment when all of God’s groundwork in his heart and his advisor’s godly counsel and Aunt Lulu’s prayers came to a head when combined with the word and Josiah became God’s man to cleanse the nation and lead them into repentance and worship. He was awesome!

I just got a new nephew… did I tell you? And his name is Josiah. I think he’s going to be awesome too… just like his namesake. But this Josiah has amazing parents living beautiful lives and he has sweet and godly grandparents as well. And he might not have Lulu, but he has Aunt Christy and Aunt Connie and Uncle Lee and we’re all praying. And this Josiah will never have to dig in some closet to find the words of His God, for they are written on the walls of his house and they are alive in the music on his Mommy’s lips and they are hidden in his Daddy’s heart. I don’t know what all it takes to grow, but God does, and I think this kid is gonna be awesome!

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