Why I Celebrate My Sons' Birthdays (Trevor Atwood)

Taken from the Summit College Ministry Blog. This was written by Trevor Atwood, our church's college pastor. Trevor has been a tremendous source of encouragement for me throughout this whole process.

Why I Love to Celebrate My Sons’ Birthdays
May 14th, 2010

Today is my eldest son’s birthday.

He’s 7. Loves baseball, listening to stories, and finding things to jump off of.

Certainly, his birthday is a time we celebrate his life by eating hot dogs for supper and 3 rounds of cupcakes.

But there is another reason I love to celebrate Micah and Isaac’s birthdays. We adopted them.

Sound strange? At first glance, yes. In fact, many wonder why I don’t make as big a deal out of their legal adoption day as I do their birthday. While we do celebrate their adoption days, we celebrate their adoption as sons on their birthday as well. The great thing about this is that God has reminded me of the gospel this way.

When my boys were born, they weren’t with us. In fact, for them, and many orphans, their first birthdays were not times of celebration. They represented a time of despair or neglect: a great sense of hopelessness surrounding what may have been a young, confused, desperate mother in some cases, or in others, tragic death of parents and family (not necessarily my sons’ situations, simply generalizing). What’s to celebrate?

Then, I think about my life. What was I doing when Micah was born on May 14th, 2003. Mowing the yard, coaching a soccer game? Who knows? The date was not very remarkable to me. But little did I know, in a small town in Russia, the son whom I now dearly love was being born into a world of heartache and sin. Totally apart from me. I was completely oblivious to what God was doing.

In the same way, Christ on the cross took the sins of the world on himself. In one of the darkest days of history, he was beaten, wounded, killed in order to bring me to the Father from which I was separated. It is difficult to think of the despair of that moment on the cross and the Saturday that followed. ”How does a dead Messiah rescue anyone?”, many of the Jews must have asked about the “King” they expected to free them from Israel. They were oblivious to what God was doing. But as God worked in my life and in my sons’, he brought from the most dark, egregious event in history, the forgiveness and redemption of all those who trust in him.

So on each of my sons’ birthdays and every time I see a cross, I am encouraged that from dark beginnings can come a beautiful life. From sin, good. From death, resurrection. From despair, hope. And I may have no clue what God is up to at the time, or how He is going to pull it off.

Happy Birthday, Micah. Your Dad loves you. Let’s celebrate!