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Loren Warkentin M.T.S.

The Surprise of a First-Time Grandpa

I thought I was beyond the emotion of surprises. Then on Tuesday night God surprised me yet again and enlarged my heart some more.

Thirty one years ago this past Tuesday I became a husband when I married my beloved Becky. At the time I felt that the joy and delight I experienced that day could never be surpassed. But the years have taught me that God has many delightful surprises for us and that He enlarges our capacity for love, joy and delight with each new peek around the corner of His benevolence. Thirty one wonderful anniversaries later along with the births of a son (I became a dad) and two daughters, many-many birthday parties, Christmas eves, Valentines’ days (to say nothing of innumerable hilarious mealtimes and those very special moments when my children each confessed their faith in Christ), a wedding, a very special daughter-in-law — I thought I was beyond the emotion of surprises. Then on Tuesday night God surprised me yet again and enlarged my heart some more. I became a grandpa. Little Benjamin Matthew came into the world at 7:25 in the evening of Becky’s and my thirty first wedding anniversary.On the phone my son told me that he had experienced a bit of a difficult time with tears as he held his son for the first time. I understood! Those were tears of joy and delight. I had been there before (28 years before) and so had he — our roles had been a little different, however. I can remember my holding him and being entirely captivated by his tiny form. The tears had surprised me then. Now it was my son’s turn. But emotions were stirring in this new grandpa’s heart too. God had delivered another of His delights – a grandson. Even though I knew this day was coming, I was not prepared for the sensation that came with it. For two days my phone had never been far away as I waited for the news. Now Benjamin was here and my heart was singing, and I hadn’t even met him yet.

As I ponder these experiences 1 Corinthians 2:9,10 takes on special meaning. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’– these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”[ESV] Love seems to be at the centre of all of this. God’s love for us, our love in response to His and the enlarged capacity for love that He graciously grants to families. I am certain that His loving Father’s heart also delights in the birth of a human grandson. I would like to think that He even gets a little emotional. Didn’t His own dearly beloved Son look like this once? (Gal. 4:4)

I know I am not the first grandpa in the world (nor will I be the last) but this was a first for me and I am entirely delighted in the moment. Thank you Father for your great love and thank you for this grandson.

PS: I got to hold my grandson for the first time last night. What a delight!

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