He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth. (Luke 1:14)

The birth of a child is exciting. There are months of preparation. The baby room needs to be painted and you have to get that special crib. A shower or two can start the collection of necessary gadgets and cute little outfits to hang in the closet. Then there are the diapers—you can never have too many of those.

With each day, the anticipation grows. Then it happens. In a flurry you get to the hospital and the pain of labor and delivery yields a cherished bundle of joy.

Gradually, sleepless nights melt into times of play, and before long that baby is sent off to school. The joy and delight that were experienced at birth turn into pride as parents let go of their child to fulfill his or her unique mission in life.

The birth of a child contains God-given potential and purpose. Parents have hopes and dreams for their children, and so does God. When a child finds his or her purpose in life and allows God to develop his or her potential for fulfilling that purpose, great things happen. The joy and delight of a parent brings rejoicing to those who benefit from the impact of the life of that one-time little baby. A life, when yielded to the plan of God, can cause many to rejoice. It happened with John. It happened with Jesus. And it happens with every child who fulfills a divine destiny.

If your parents are living, give them a call and thank them for nurturing you and releasing you to fulfill your God-given purpose.

Ken Heer has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-two years and lives in Brooksville, Florida, with his wife, Nancy. Ken is the author of Ancient Fire (WPH).