Seventeen is kind of a blah birthday. Unlike sixteen, there’s no crossing of an imaginary line of maturity and responsibility represented by the ability to drive independently. Unlike eighteen, there’s no radical change in status like the ability to vote and sign contracts.
So, Paul’s seventeenth birthday today has not been accompanied by any great emotional reflection or upheaval like last year. I’m glad for that. I’m not letting my guard down, though – I know how quickly I am prone to doubt and how the evil one would love to take advantage of any crack or complacency he sees in my treasuring Jesus above all things.
Like every other year of Paul’s life, this past one has had some significant complications. We finally got the diagnosis of seizures last August after two years of frustration. After months of tinkering with medications he has been free of seizures for a month. We’re very grateful to God for that! But the medications have side effects including sleepiness and now we have issues with his muscle tone and flexibility.
The need to trust God is constantly right in front of us because of this boy. Maybe that’s Paul’s best gift to us – we recognize our neediness and dependency upon God!
So, with a mix of great gladness for this boy’s life mingled with some sadness, with God’s help I am able to say:
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the LORD is to be praised!
(Psalm 113:3 ESV)
God used you to do that for me, son. Happy Birthday!