This photograph in the hospital on the way home is proof that we were absolutely elated to have and to hold you, darling Haddon. Welcome to the world!
Before he was even born, I sifted through the pages of the psalms, searching for a psalm for Joseph Haddon. I offered my list to Tyler. And as he read through the different scriptures, he said – I think this one. Me, too. Me too.
oh Jesus thank you for Haddon
A year ago today he entered our world, our family, our hearts and we are forever transformed, from glory to glory, into your image, into the likeness of your Son, by this little life, this little gift, this little baby You gifted us.
Through this new life You have re-shaped and continued to make new each one of our hearts.
We have learned how to love in new ways; how to protect and care in new ways; how to prefer one another in new ways… how to love new, little, fragile, growing life. What gift to learn together!
I remember when the ultrasound-lady told us you were a boy. I was floored with excitement. I was floored with His purposeful ways, leading us through deep waters and dry deserts.
As I flipped through photographs to include in this post, I saw a photo of a phone conversation with Tyler – I whispered to him through text…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick. And my heart is sad and sick and waiting is wearing on me.”
Here we all find ourselves – Lord, let us find ourselves here! – waiting and sick and heartbroken. We pray we find ourselves here because it is in these fragile moments that You come. Grace comes and heals and saves and binds up and Glory shines through us, and Glory becomes us. And Glory is all around us.
If we never find ourselves wanting and waiting and without, sick and sad and sore from sin and hopes deferred, then we will never find ourselves in Christ.
God takes what was meant for evil and transforms it into Good.
This reality – this is your reality and my reality! – hush ups my heart and floors me with humility. Hush up and Worship and Hushes me into Rest and Ushers me into Glory.
How can this be? Mary asked…. How can this be, Lord, I asked….
And then one day, suddenly and silently and almost without warning, baby. 20 weeks later, another boy. His name – Joseph Haddon. And four days past his due date, after two days of giving thanks with both sides of the family – there he was! in all of his screaming beauty and hungry holiness. Thank you, Lord.
We chose Psalm 146 for Haddon because it begins similarly to both Leland and Grafton’s psalms. We loved that when we chose Grafton’s psalm, it was almost an exposition, or a commentary on, or a more full description of, the blessed man in Leland’s psalm one.
Psalm 146 begins “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! … and in verse five, it reads, “Blessed is he…” so this Psalm is about praising the Lord and the blessed man who praises the Lord, who lives his life in fear of the Lord.
We desire this – we pray this into – Haddon’s life – that he will be a man who praises the Lord, who is blessed because his help is the God of Jacob, because his hope is in the Lord his God.
Psalm 146 Put Not Your Trust in Princes
1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Put not your trust in princes,
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4 When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish.
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
who keeps faith forever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed,
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the sojourners;
he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The LORD will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!
Reading through this psalm, you might have noticed how many of the verses hearken God’s work in Israel’s history, and while I don’t think this psalm specifically mentions Joseph from the book of Genesis, the Lord “executes justice,” “gives food to the hungry.” The Lord “sets the prisoner free” – who is it but the Lord who set Joseph free from the prison!? The Lord opened the eyes of the blind and Joseph was elevated to a position of power, not according to his plan, but as he feared the Lord. “The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down” – this description of the Lord was so evident in Joseph’s life. The Lord fed the Egyptians, the Israelites, and even his own brothers who disowned him years before through Joseph’s wise, proactive, God-given plan. And we pray the Lord’s character will be so clear to our Joseph Haddon. “The Lord loves the righteous” “The Lord watches over the sojourner” – Joseph was loved by the Lord; the Lord watched over him even as he traveled far from his own country. Joseph didn’t have his father with him for a long time, and in the end, those who had risen up against the Lord, and against Joseph, were brought to an end. Joseph lived a life that trusted not in princes, but feared and trusted in the Lord, and his legacy declares “The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!”
This scripture also could describe Joseph, adoptive father of Jesus, and that too is precious to me.
And this psalm, along with both of these Joseph’s godly models, undergirded by the character of the Lord, gives us such a holy desire to pray His Word into our Haddon’s life.
We pray that through whatever sort of life God gifts our son with, his life will praise the Lord; that he will be a blessed man who fears the Lord, and that his legacy will praise the Lord throughout all of the generations.
Each night before I lay our growing son down in his crib, I whisper in his ear…
“Praise the Lord.”