Friday, November 30, 2012


"How old are you again?" 

I know this guy better than anyone in the world, but as we sat around the breakfast table this morning, celebrating our birthday guy, I couldn't quite remember. Was he thirty four? Thirty five? It was one of those two, I was sure. (I can't help but speculate that it's not a good sign if the years are already beginning to blur and we're only in our mid-thirties.)

He's thirty five.

He proceeded to unwrap the gifts that the kids and I had picked out, and though he loved what we got him, neither item fit. Justin is my husband, my best friend, the person I spend countless hours hanging out with. I know intricate details of how his mind works, what subtle facial expression indicate certain emotions. In so many ways, I know the contours of this man inside and out.

And yet I needed to double check his age, and the clothing I bought him didn't quite fit.

After opening presents, I read to my husband a song so fitting for birthdays; a song about the One who created us and designed us and knew the course of our lives before there was yet a day lived; a song about the One who saw us and knew us in living color and full detail even when we were yet unborn, yet in darkness to others but in full light to Him.

As we sat there savoring our coffee and I read aloud the words penned by King David in Psalm 139, we found ourselves freshly humbled by the contrast between creature and Creator.

I may know Justin well, but highlighted by the reality that I forgot his age and chose clothing that didn't fit, there is One who knows him so much better. All those years ago, on the day of my Justin's birth, God knew who this baby boy was and what kind of a man he would grow up to become. The thousands of days of Justin's life from birth until now, they've been mapped out, every detail ordained and brought to pass.

The details look something like this: Justin's a man who is strong but tender, wise but humble, lighthearted but caring. He's a man who is lovingly devoted to shepherding the people in his care. He's a man who loves his children, who plays with them, who teaches them about the living God. He's a man who loves his wife way better than I deserve to be loved. He's a man who seeks after Christ every day of his life. He does all this imperfectly; he's just a creature, after all. But in all the ways that Justin is so excellent, I know it's only because of the incredible mercy of a sovereign Creator.


Justin, you are so loved.

Happy Birthday. 
(How old are you again?)