My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. Proverbs 7:1-3
36 years ago today I was at the Northern Illinois District Conference at Camp Epworth just outside of Rockford, IL. I heard my name called over the camp public address system, "Phone call for Pastor Brad Snyder. Brad Snyder, phone call in the office." (Obviously, that was WAY before cell phones)
I hurried out of the meeting and moved anxiously toward the office. We knew our soon-to-be adopted baby was due anytime. Nearing the office I was hoping it would be THAT call. Sure enough, it was!
The child had just been born and it was a boy! Boy, oh boy! A boy! Perfect!
Most of what happened for the next hour or so is a blur. I know I had to go report to the proper officials and get excused from the rest of Conference, which I did. And then we had to pack up our stuff and load the car and make the four hour drive down to Marion, IN, where he had been born.
We packed, we loaded, and we headed south. Soon the joy was tempered by extreme anxiety as we awaited to receive the official word that the birth mother had officially signed off on her rights to the child. In, fact, the law in Indiana gave her up to a year to change her mind. As we drove we would worry awhile, pray awhile, worry some more and more a little more.
On August 10th, 1975, the longest seventy-two hour stretch in world history came to and end when we took the infant son into our arms. It was love at first sight - at least for us. He couldn't see all that well yet!
There wasn't much doubt what we would name him "Matthew" means "gift from God" and surely he is. So Matthew James Snyder came into our lives and took a prominent place in my heart - a place he still occupies today as a 36 year-old man and father of five.
Matt has always been one of those gifted people who can do everything well. He is a good husband, an outstanding father and very successful businessman. Sports came easy to him and he was one of the star players in whatever sport he chose.
Memories are flooding my mind right now and I won't bore you with anymore of them, but needless to say I am very proud and thankful for this gift God entrusted to my care 36 years ago today!
Happy Birthday, my son, Matthew - "Gift of God"! My wish for you on this day is the same that Solomon expressed to his son centuries ago in the Proverbs, "My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."