This mighty warrior turned 7 today. And not only does he strike fear in the hearts of evil-doers everywhere, but he also strikes cheer and encouragement in the hearts of his family and friends on a regular basis. I'm often surprised and humbled to hear him go out of his way to build up someone else with a kind, generous comment. No one told him to say it, no one asked him to say it... he just wanted to. I want to be more like him when I grow up.
His name, Joseph, is Hebrew for "Yahweh has added." And indeed, when Jacob was looking at son #11 in the book of Genesis, he knew that Yahweh was making him wealthy and fruitful with an increase of children. That's exactly how his mother and I felt when our Joseph was born. The Lord our God was making us wealthy and fruitful with blessing upon blessing.
And, by the way, whenever I read in Genesis 39.6 that "Joseph was handsome in form and appearance," I think of my son again. And I imagine him using that line to his advantage with my future daughter-in-law one day. I mean... how many of us can claim the authority of Scripture for something like that?
But my prayer for you, Joseph, is that you will not only be strong and courageous in the joy of your play, but that you will also be strong and courageous in the Christian faith. For Christ is risen from the dead. And you are raised with him.
"No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life... I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous... Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
... Joshua 1
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you..."