For My Son, Joshua, on his 13th birthday
On February 12, 1998, at 8:56 in the morn,
Joshua Eric Grogan came into the world, our family of three was born.
Bright eyed and full lipped, you worked that room, it was definitely love at first sight,
We marveled at those little hands and feet, and thanked God for such beauty and light.
Your orderly personality burst forth, as you were born on your exact due date,
And you screamed and screamed at the top of your lungs, if your milk was a tad bit late.
The obsession with order carried on as you grew, you lined up every toy that you had,
And if anyone messed with that line, oooh, swift justice was served—it was bad.
In God’s ultimate wisdom, He brought you a sister, as opposite from you as could be,
You—serious, she—silly, You—orderly, she—not so much, if you were Bert, she’d definitely be Ernie.
Those early years of clashing between you and your sister, I felt like a referee,
But over the years you’ve grown close with she and her brothers, I think that you’d agree.
The years have gone by in a blink of an eye, it pains me to say ‘your thirteen’,
Yet I am so proud of the man you’re becoming and the good qualities you have gleaned.
I want to point out three men in the Bible whose character I see in you,
First would be Paul, and then Daniel and of course, Joshua—for whom we named you.
Paul was known for standing strong for what’s ‘right’, something that you’re known for,
He never backed down or feared what would happen because Christ was at his core.
He penned the words ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’,
When running, you’ve penned those words on your shorts to give God all the glory,
Perseverance was Paul’s strength, a mental toughness resulting from God alone,
You, too, exhibit this God-given trait; cultivate this seed that’s been sown.
One last thing on Paul—God changed him from rule-follower to ‘always err on the side of grace’,
He went from rigid to flexible, from judgmental to loving, remember this as you run your race.
Daniel, he’s next, he prayed three times a day, his consistency was like no other,
I am proud of the prayer warrior you, too, are becoming, remember that it always covers,
Daniel was also a man of resolve, never once trading truth to be cool,
Stand firm on truth—don’t ever give in—may you dare to be a Daniel.
Lastly, the man for whom you were named, Joshua, he was the guy,
Prayerful, humble and fearless he was, he followed hard after Christ,
Now know these qualities you too can possess in ever increasing measure,
When you remember that ‘down is really up’ as you fall on your knees in prayer,
Joshua was the ultimate leader, directing his crew into the Promised Land,
As you lead in our home, on your teams, and in school, remember to always lend a helping hand.
In closing, I just want to say, I love you, I am so proud of who you are,
Continue to seek the LORD with ALL of your heart and I know that you will go far.
Joshua, YOU ARE A JOSHUA—and one last thing you must forever know:
“Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go!”