As I put Aiden to sleep tonight, the events of the past few weeks played back in my mind. This summer was complicated, on a daily basis, on multiple fronts with our family. We’ve experienced professional and personal challenges, growth and setbacks. We’ve had to dig deep and pull together.
Not an easy time to be a father.
In the darkness of Aiden’s room, Joseph and the Christmas story came to mind.
Imagine you are young and married. You get word that you need to travel back to your home town because the oppressive Roman government needs a head count. You pack your stuff, and your wife, and make your way home.
Then you find out, through an angel, that she’s pregnant. You know the baby isn’t yours.
Think about the human side. Think about the moment the angel vanished and you look in Mary’s eyes. The room is quiet. Back to life. Back to reality.
Jesus is born in the stable. At some point, the shepherds and wisemen leave. Now it is you, this baby, your wife, and some animals. Life begins.
What was it like to raise Jesus? How did Joseph handle his first cries and frustration, his first best friend and skinned knee? Did he ever look in the mirror and ask himself:
Am I Cut Out For This?
Fatherhood is a marathon. It is taking a day in five-minute increments and counting your success with peace and happiness, even if they are fleeting. It is one step at a time. It is grasping straws and tying them together to form some kind of whole. It can pull you to deep lows and raise you to glorious heights.
So we keep going because struggle brings perseverance, perseverance brings character and character brings hope and maybe that is the whole point. The dark days drive you forward and shape you for the future. You have hope for better things, the bright side that offers hints of our home in eternity.
Hang in there. This too will pass.