August 6, 2011- Have A Little Faith!
Yesterday mommy and I went to the doctor to get an update on how you are doing. You are growing bigger each day… and we can see evidence of you in mommy’s belly! Dr. Bazan found your heartbeat and you were not happy about being woken up. You started kicking mommy’s belly when the doctor applied pressure. Is that a sign of temper or are you just ready to get out of that womb?!
As mommy and I drove to Springfield this morning I saw a sign along I-70 that said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you”. Child, there is nothing more important in life than this statement. Mommy and I love you like crazy and would give our life for you, but our love is only capable of a fraction of the love that God has for you.
Child, there are many things in life that will bring you both joy and sorrow. The only unconditional, unshakeable, and consistent source of strength is Jesus. Whatever you go through in life, Jesus will always be there. When you mess up… Jesus is there to help you through it. When you suffer a loss or heartbreak, Jesus’ heart breaks with you. When you celebrate a victory, Jesus celebrates with you. Jesus is much more than just a Christmas morning filled with presents or an Easter Sunday filled with Easter eggs. Jesus is an every second of every day.
Daddy hasn’t always understood this amazing love of Jesus. Great-Grandma Frantz raised me to believe in Jesus, and I knew who he was, but there is a difference between knowing OF Jesus, and KNOWING Jesus. Through our relationship with Jesus, we are defined. I became a follower of Jesus in the Spring of 2000 and was baptized in the Summer of 2001. Those two moments were the most defining moments in my young life.
Prior to knowing Jesus I was a quitter. A few people picked on me in Middle School and because of it I gave up. I gave up on making friendships, basketball, baseball, and everything that I loved. I sat around feeling sorry for myself and felt like I had no value in this life. I went to Ohio State and was so busy making sure that I stayed unhappy, that I missed Jesus knocking on the door of my cold little heart every day. Looking back on it I see just how much I missed the people that God put into my life early on.
Thankfully I had a couple of persistent friends that encouraged me to go to Panama City for a Spring Break Christian retreat. I was more about chasing girls at that time… but I thought, “why not”. My child, it was the greatest decision of my life to that point! One night I was out walking on a pier, overlooking the Atlantic, when the scales fell off my ears and eyes and I heard Jesus call me. It was clear, “Jason, this is not the life I planned for you. Come with me, be my child, and you will be set free in ways you cannot fathom”. I was overwhelmed and broke down in tears. The next day at a conference I confessed that I was a sinner and I accepted Jesus in front of about 5,000 college kids.
My child I am not saying that life was instantly a breeze from that point on…. it was quite the opposite. I had jobs that made me miserable, friends that were bad, and girls that were not nice. I continued to sin against God in ways that I sometimes didn’t even realize. The difference my child was the feeling of conviction, repentance, and the desire to be better. All along the way God was healing me in ways that I never realized I was hurt in. I began to trust and God delivered me a network of friends (look at all your “uncles”… Uncles Bruce, Brent, Renner, Paul, and so on). I stopped being afraid of life and God used me in Costa Rica and other ministries. God healed me of decades long depression, and I began to find joy in the life he provided me. God taught me how to love Him, which enabled me to love others and ultimately led me to your mommy and now to you.
My child, faith is a journey and not a destination. The day you enter a relationship with Jesus, expectations for your life change. You become for the poor, for the helpless, for the kingdom and not the world. You roll out of bed and help someone move because that is what Jesus would do. You tutor a classmate to help him pass because that is what Jesus would do. You buy lunch for your roommate because he/she lost his/her job. I often fall short of this my child, but God has used YOU to show me my own short-comings.
I pray that I can be an example of what a follower of Jesus should be like. When I fail, I hope you hold me accountable. I can’t wait to serve with you by my side… feeding the homeless, serving the community, and traveling the world sharing the Gospel. In my dreams I see you as a great humanitarian, but more importantly, I can feel that God is going to use you in amazing ways!