Happy Birthday to Rocky Rhoades, who turned 29 on September the 29th
I have told you the story of your birth so many times, haven’t I? You arrived early and the doctor had told me not to leave town in case that happened, but I left town and I was so stressed out because I don’t like to get caught breaking the rules. And Tara just reminded me the other night how stressed she was, too, as a 5-year old, because we started on our trip, got halfway there, went home, and then decided to go anyway…and barely walked into the grandparent’s house before it was time for me to zoom right on over to the hospital. Well, I mean, I had planned to make it home so the doctor wouldn’t be any-the-wiser, but you were like, NOW! ~which is so still you. :)
And I have told you that you surprised me beyond anything I could have imagined. I could not believe I got the boy, THE boy I secretly hoped for even though in reality I was totally FINE with having a girl. I already had 3 girls, one more made such sense for balance and symmetry. Omygoodness – the words, “You have a boy” sent me into delirious happiness.
You looked directly at me, your eyes blinked in slow-motion and it knocked the breath from my body. I was dizzy in love, unable to even think about sleep that night, all night, as an oxytocin and dopamine cocktail surged through my veins as if it were coming directly through the IV drip. I had a boy…my very own baby boy!
And you may not realize it, but every time I ever see you, even now, I am thinking the same thing: THAT is MY boy!
I am so proud of you, Rock, not only for the man you are, but for the man you are becoming more and more everyday. This whole flood thing has been a devastation in some ways and an aggravation, for certain, in the life of your family, your ministry. There was loss that probably feels overwhelming and unbearable (as $40-50,000 plus time and effort and re-building will be). I know you look forward to getting your wife and baby girls back home, safe and sound. And then you’ll look and see the possibly long-haul ahead for replacing all the instruments and computers and sound equipment and the studio you’d spent time assembling ~ lots of time and money and hard work ahead.
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For …this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.. . 2 Corinthians 6.10-12
But it will come back to you. The things you have sown will take root and grow. And I have watched you and Jovan these past few years grow in grace and grow in giving and giving selflessly and giving big and making the conscious decision to live a life of giving and whenever it has been in your power to do so, you have given away anything and everything you could.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows…whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6.7-8
And God isn’t unaware. He’ll see to it that the seeds of kindness and giving that you have already sown will grow and flourish and you’ll reap all that you have sown. Even when you didn’t know you’d need it – you were planting, you were dropping the seeds of compassion and kindness and generosity into the ground – and what you couldn’t see was that God wasn’t surprised by this thing that happened to your house, your home and belongings and He was smiling, I just know it, because He knew you were already doing what needed done – before it needed done. God knew you were planting for a harvest of big-time reaping, financially!
“The Lord then said to Noah, ‘Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.'” Genesis 7.1
For Noah, for all mankind, the flood was a line in the sand. It was a before and after. It was : things used to be like that, then there was the flood, and now they are like this. The flood was an ending AND a beginning. Things were lost in the flood, but the promises of God are found there, too. Not just for an ark builder for thousands of years ago, but for a worshiper/songwriter right now, in Frederick, CO – man who leads his family and wants to write songs that literally bring healing.
Of course certain things had to die and float away for a dream, a calling, a vision like that. But it is all just so you’ll never forget that the LORD is the promise-keeper and you didn’t do it by yourself, because you couldn’t have. How many times have you told me, since you were 18 or 19, “God won’t share His glory.” You have pointed out highly celebrated, gifted musicians and singers and recognized the call of God on their lives, but watched as they held it for themselves. That is not the standard you are living by and this flood is just a yes and amen to deep-down determinations you have already made to give God all, everything that is His and His alone – you have already said it. The flood is a checkpoint – do you mean it, Rock-man? And I know you do and I know the healing songs are going to pour out from here, like flood waters for the glory of the LORD.
But [the time is coming when] the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord just as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2.14
Do you know what I think?
I believe, and I actually know this to be true because I have known you every second of these 29 years+ and you have made me cry and worry and laugh like nobody’s business and also so very proud because you are forthright and honest and talented and thoughtful and honoring and you love your mommy. So this is what I think:
No one is more beautiful or handsome than my boy, my Rocky ~ from the inside out.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
This is the post-flood promise of God! On the occasion of your 29th birthday. It is coming back to you, all of it and more! I love you!