This past Sunday we dedicated our son. Our church doesn’t baptize infants but we do dedicate them. Basically, we are promising before God and the other members of our church that we are committing to raise our child in an environment of faith until he is old enough to claim that faith as his own.
Our church has a special song that we sing for this occasion but parents may also select a song or hymn of their own choosing. We chose “Lord You’ve Been Good to Me” by Graham Kendrick. This song is neither popular enough to be trendy, nor old enough to be classic, like a traditional hymn. But it keeps popping up at significant times in my life. I vividly remember five years ago when we were struggling to get our house renovated so that we could move in before the lease on our apartment ran out. We weren’t looking for perfection; we were hoping that the walls would be up. I was upstairs painting while my husband and father were downstairs hanging dry wall. Suddenly a group of six or eight men from a bible study that my husband attended showed up at the front door to help. As I returned to my painting I couldn’t help but smile and sing “Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me.” During the nights that my daughter refused to sleep and my husband was at class, I sat on the floor in her doorway while she cried and sang “Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me.” This song came to my mind during my recovery from my miscarriage and the difficulties of this past pregnancy. Looking down at my newborn son I couldn’t help but breathe prayers of gratitude, “Lord, you really have been so good to me.”
Many times during this past pregnancy and shortly after my son was born it would have been easy to complain. When I developed gestational diabetes, I felt bitter that after a miscarriage I was having such a difficult pregnancy. When the baby was ten days late I said it was unfair. After he finally arrived I suffered bleeding complications that made me weak and lengthened my recovery. A week or two after he came home I fell down the stairs while holding him. Fortunately he was OK, but I was sore for a few weeks. It was easy to complain. I wish I could say that I was always thankful, always joyful. I wasn’t.
Right now I’m trying to finish (for the third time I might add) The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. When I finished the chapter on the discipline of celebration I realized how often I miss out on the joy in life. Not two minutes after finishing the chapter my son spit up all over me (I was reading in bed while nursing him.) Normally I would have sighed loudly, possibly complained verbally and thought “here we go again, another beginning to another frustrating day.” But instead, I took a deep breath, prayed for strength, smiled at my son, cleaned up the mess and reminded myself that I needed to wash the sheets anyway.
My son’s dedication was another opportunity to celebrate, to experience joy and remind myself of how very good God has been to me.
Below are the lyrics to the song “Lord, You’ve Been Good to Me.” I invite you to look for the blessings in your own life and be thankful.
Lord you’ve been good to me
All my life, all my life
Your loving kindness never fails
I will remember
All you have done
Bring from my heart
New every morning is your love
Filled with compassion from above
Grace and forgiveness full and free
Lord you’ve been good to me
So may each breath I take
Be for you Lord, only you
Giving you back the life I owe
Love so amazing
Mercy so free
Lord you’ve been good
So good to me