It’s been said that life is not about the breaths you take, but about the moments that take your breath away. An amazing sunset. A first kiss. A walk down the aisle. They all qualify. For our family, a stretch in time about two years ago contained a series of moments that took our breath away.
One of those moments has found a permanent home in my memory. It was the day we met our boys, Jonathan and Nicholas, for the first time. We had just finished an hour-long meeting with our caseworker that had given us their brief life history. Their story was fleshed out with some background details about their parents, grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles.
When that part of the meeting ended, she led us down a hallway and through a door. And that’s when it happened, a sort of surreal moment that seemed to be crawling in slow motion. About thirty feet away, in a different room, we saw our boys for the first time through a glass wall. I was supposed to be listening to our caseworker give us some final instructions before meeting them, but I didn’t hear a word she said. My eyes were fixed on my boys, a knot in my stomach, and a lump in my throat. The moment took my breath away.
In Psalm 139, the Bible says that God knows every one of our days before they came to be. The larger context of the passage tells us that not only does God know every one of our days, but he has known about them since before the creation of the world.
That means God knew about July 18, 2005 long before I did. He knew that on a blistering hot summer day in a crowded hotel in mainland China, we would get to hold our little girl for the first time. He knew that on a cold rainy day on November 22, 2010, we would get to meet our boys for the first time. Psalm 139 means that before any of what we see around us even came to be, God knew the day I would be born. He even knows the day that he will call me home to be with him forever. And he knows the same about you.
But this night I realized something pretty amazing. On the way home from our visit with the boys, Stacey said that had we not moved to Niagara years ago, our lives wouldn’t be changing in the ways they are right now. That’s not what amazes me; even in my limited understanding, I was able to put that together. Nor does it amaze me that Jonathan was born on July 11, 2007, and only three weeks later we moved to Niagara.
What amazes me is that God knew all of that before it came to be. He knows the beginning from the end. What amazes me is that God is the grand orchestrator of all things, and in the midst of weaving together his perfect plan, he is gracious enough to give us these simple yet profound moments that take our breath away.
A visit at the boy’s foster home ended by putting them to bed, Jonathan in his Thomas the Tank bed, and Nicholas in his racecar bed. As soon as we got home, Katie was off to bed, too.
Only then did I realize something else pretty amazing. That night was the first night that I got ‘good nights’ from all three of my kids. First from Nicholas. Then from Jonathan. Then, from my little girl and new big-sister, Katie.
And it took my breath away all over again.
First posted Nov 29th, 2010
Check out Kevin’s blog at 22:30
These are the ladies in my life for whom I will gladly stand in the gap. And these are the young warriors I will gladly train to stand in the gap for their God.
I’m a pastor at a church in southern Ontario, Canada, and I love what I do. Like most guys, I want my life to count for something and I want to help other guys learn how that can happen for them, too.
I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, my friends, the Bible, the Toronto Maple Leafs, preaching and teaching, writing, a good cup of java, being bald (kinda), a free cup of java, saying java, beautiful sunsets, romantic dinners, long walks on the beach . . . wait . . . what?