Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God
Lord for all my life I've been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, How can I raise a king
It’s hard to focus too long on the real meaning of Christmas without reflecting on the life of Joseph. There are several Christmas songs that imagine what it must have been like being the man who would raise the Son of God. I can particularly relate to the one I’ve shared today.
This is a song about the Joseph who says why me Lord. Of all the people you could have chosen for this role – why choose me. I’ve done too little to expect that you would notice me, let alone appoint me to raise your Son. I don’t get it. How could I possibly be part of such an extravagant plan. How do I possibly fit in.
When both of our boys were born, I suspected right away neither of them was another Jesus. And given that Jesus was perfect, Elliott and Ian have done nothing the last several years to make me change my mind about that initial assessment. Still the same, the first time I held each of them, and many times since, I have been overwhelmed by the trust God has put in me to be their father. From the moment each of them first looked at me with their already trusting eyes, I knew my role in the world was suddenly something far more significant than I could have ever imagined.
I have no idea most days what that role is or what God has in store for Elliott and Ian. Many days I find myself praying Joseph’s prayer from the song below: Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours. And then I listen. When Elliott declares he’s going to be a video game designer and then the President of the United States, I let him know what God has shown me – that we all have roles to play in this world and none of them are small. And when Ian expresses uncertainty as to whether he is going to live on Mars or in his imaginary barn when he grows up, God reminds me that the boys have been given imaginations for a reason. That they might grow and dream of roles for themselves far greater than I ever could. And that even a simple carpenter possesses the awesome power of encouragement.
When I listen to the song below, I am amazed by the responsibility God placed on Joseph to raise his only begotten Son. As the song ends, though, I am reminded of my own role as a father. Our boys aren’t the Saviors of the world and their arrivals weren’t foretold by prophets thousands of years in advance, but they are God’s children nonetheless. Knowing that is more awe inspiring than knowing they are our own, and it gives me the slightest understanding of what Joseph must have felt like when he considered his place in God’s plan.