My twins turned eight this weekend! I can hardly believe that this time eight years ago I was probably on my way home from the hospital, scared and weepy. I had been a hero of sorts in the maternity ward (at least they made me feel like one), and now I was headed into real life. No lactation experts to help me latch them on. No nursery to send them to for a few hours of sleep. No laying in bed all day having things brought to me on a tray. I remember some of the emotions so vividly.
So, here we are eight years later, and we all survived! I remember Alistair Begg saying in passing that on his birthday every year he recounts the ways God’s goodness and mercy have been following him all of his days. I adopted his ritual for myself, and this year I want to do it for my twins.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in that they were born into a Christian home where they would be able to hear the message of the gospel from parents who, though greatly flawed, understand their need for a Savior.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in that they are surrounded by godly men as role models. Their father, uncle Jimmy, and Papu are all godly pastors leading the church well. Their Uncle Dan models gentleness, as well as diligence in the workplace. Their Uncle Chris is a servant and diligent school teacher. Their Abuelo is a compassionate man and a meticulous electrician. All of these men are not only believers, but live nearby and are members in the same local church.
I see the goodness of God in giving them such a good father. In a time when most dads are aloof and indifferent, this is a huge evidence of goodness to Joshua and Caleb. Jason is not only a strong leader, but he is a humble leader. This is such a unique combination. His humility is demonstrated in how he serves in our home, as well as how quickly he responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. His orderliness and diligence are other qualities that God in His goodness has provided for my sons to observe. This diligence translates in other aspects of Jason’s training of his sons. For example, he regularly reads God’s Word and other books to them. He takes them out to breakfast or lunch regularly to build relationships with them as individuals. And perhaps most important, he plays with them. Whether it’s football, wiffle ball, or family wrestle, Daddy is on their level to enjoy and invest in what will be a continuing evidence of the Lord’s goodness and mercy in their lives.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in giving them brothers to provide a furnace for sin to come to the surface in obvious ways. I don’t always appreciate this as good or merciful, I have to admit, but the wisdom of God is not the wisdom of man. In our family it is impossible to keep a veneer of godliness. The boys love each other dearly, but they are the primary means for exposing sin in each other. We have many opportunities to understand how much we need a Savior in the Reyes house. This, indeed, is the mercy of God to all of us.
I see the goodness and mercy of God in giving my twins such unique personalities and gifts. Caleb is compassionate and artistic, as well as a strong leader (the coordinator of all activities imaginative). Joshua loves hard work, is athletic and diligent. He seeks to be good at everything he puts his hand to. They rub off on each other. Caleb likes sports because of Josh’s influence. Joshua likes art because of Caleb’s influence. This is such a “good” thing for them.
I stand in awe that the Creator of the Universe fixes his gaze on my boys and extends goodness and mercy to them in these and so many more ways. How it builds my faith as a mom to think upon these things God has done for my boys. If their salvation depended on me being a faithful mom, we would be doomed indeed. But He is faithful even when I am faithless. I pray this year my boys would increasingly grasp not only how “goodness and mercy shall follow them all of the days of their lives” but why. How I pray they will understand, by the Holy Spirit’s illumination, that they receive the kindness of God, because Jesus received the wrath of God on their behalf.
Psalms 23:6 (ESV) 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.