“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” - Psalm 16:11, NLT
My eldest son graduated high school five years ago and moved 1,400 miles away to take a job from a lifelong friend of his mother’s. He had always been a good student, and I had hoped he would go to college right after high school. I was a little sad knowing I would not be able to see him except maybe during the holidays, but I supported his decision. I drove with him to El Paso and flew home the next day, brokenhearted.
The next several months included weekly phone calls to catch up. My son gradually became bored with his new occupation and decided to join the Army, following in my footsteps. I had hoped he would be stationed closer to home after training, maybe Fort Knox or Fort Campbell. Quietly, my heart was broken again when after almost a year of training in Arizona, he was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, back in El Paso.
Over these last five years and counting, I have mainly spent only Christmas with my son. I am always eager for Christmastime to arrive and get to see him. The joy in my heart that his presence brings me is much the same feeling I have thinking of the son God sent to be in our presence.
To paraphrase Acts 2:29-30, the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself in Psalm 16, but to a son who would later sit on his throne. So, as I joyfully observe this Advent season, I thank God first and foremost for sending His son Jesus who taught us the way of life, and also for my son who helped me understand the joy of God’s love.
By James Morris, Morgantown UMC, Owensboro District