Buddy, when you like something. You REALLY like it. Which means the new album we've been listening to, with your new favorite song on it, has been playing on repeat in our car. It also means this is the song you chose to sing as you march around our home on warm afternoons banging two blocks together (your cymbals). This is your favorite activity as of late. This is also why, when I'm alone, I drive in silence. And I savour it. Your singing voice is precious to me. And so is silence.
So you've been singing this song nonstop, which has given me quite a bit of time to let the words roll around in my head. It just so happens that your favorite song is a scrap of truth taken out of the bible, and as we were listening to it last week, I pushed back tears as I lingered in the song and in the moment.
And I saw you in the rearview mirror, my precious boy, sweaty from a late morning at the park, And I saw your brother strapped in beside you, all giggles and gummy smiles in his car seat, hair sticking straight up, because Milo. And I felt a surge of pride, and deep deep affection, and fierce protection as I thought of you two as boys who are growing into conquerors.
Before you were born, we sat with friends and prayed over your life. We prayed you would be a man who loves God, a man of character, a warrior full of strength and tenderness. And today you are sitting in your carseat singing "moor moor moor dan conquer-wers in-him-we-wuv-us, in-him-we-wuv-us."
How deeply do I want that truth to pierce your soul, buddy.
That truth that You and Your brother can stand shoulder to shoulder as boys who grow into men who are more than conquerors.
It won't be because you are strong. Although I hope you are.
It won't be because you are brave. Although I hope you are.
It won't be because you are clever. Although I hope you are.
If you grow into a man who is more than a conqueror, we can point only to the love of Christ.
The thing about conquerors is that they face a raw reality, one that includes all kinds of cruelties and injustices that you are too young to comprehend. Things that my momma-heart wishes I could protect you from forever. In fact the bible paints it pretty clear, just two verses above the one you so love to sing... Paul asks a very real question: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?"
Oh buddy, we live in a broken world and you and Milo will no doubt come against one or more of these as your feet walk this earth.
But here lies the answer to Paul's question.
"No. (Buddy-- None of those terribly difficult or painful things can pull you out of your Father's grip). In ALL of these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us."
John Piper had some words to say about what it means to be MORE than a conqueror. He argues that conqueres utterly defeat their enemy and find them dead at their feet. But someone who is MORE than a conqueror finds their enemies being raised to life to serve them.
And that is the promise, Sweetheart.
If you walk with Jesus, you will find that all those raw realities of life. The ones that sting, and burn and throb. Things like trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and even weapons that are meant to destroy will be raised up and used for your ultimate good and God's ultimate glory. (Romans 8:28).
Daddy and I are praying for you and Chap. We hate to imagine you two coming face to face with the darkness in this world, and oh that we could protect you from it. But this is our hope in the heartache: In all these things, we are more than conquerers through him who loves us.
We love you buddy. May the truth you are singing sink deep into your core.