When I was a little boy growing up in the Lakehoma addition of Mustang, Oklahoma I was known by many names. Little Hale, that boy, Brian, the kid who liked to ride bikes, etc. One of the names that kept me out of trouble was a name that I didn’t earn it was a product of birth. When I would be running around the trails and roads of our area and I happen to run into the local bully who would try to make me bend to his will this name got me out of trouble. He would pull back his fist and one of his “toadies” would remind him that the kid he was about to knock around was “Randy Hale’s brother”. That would end the intimidation right there. Because, you see, if he hurt me in any way and my older brother Randy found out about it, let’s just say it wouldn’t end well for him.
My older brother took care of me with the local outlaw rabble. Once a boy was throwing rocks at my friend and I and one of those rocks found its way to ripping open my upper lip. While my Mom and Dad were taking me to the emergency room for stitches my older brother was down the street creating reasons for more stitches on those foolish rock throwing thugs. It was fine if he wanted to knock me around but don’t let anyone else do it or it was lights out for them.
When I was ten, I got another brother who would always take care of me. Through life when I have been boxed around by Satan’s minions who threatened me with all kinds of fears my other older brother has been there to add his name to the discussion. One of “them” will get his back up and just about the time he thinks he has the upper hand one of his “toadies” will remind him that I belong to my older brother, Jesus. Then the demons do what they always do and try to find a hole or some swine to run and hide in.
I mention the two of these guardians in the same posting because both have birthdays this month. Now I’ve been to Seminary and I realize that Jesus was probably born in the summer, however, we celebrate his first advent this month. I also know that in comparison Jesus is much more powerful than Randy because Randy has relied on the same brother many times. However, God brings people like my brother into our lives to remind us that he cares for us. He also uses those people in moments of crisis to keep us strong. There have been times when I really needed all three of my older brothers. Like when I graduated High School and had no idea where my life was headed. Randy walked beside me, Monty encouraged and directed me, and Jesus showed himself through both guardians in my life.
Christmas is a good time to thank those who have been there for you. Those who have let the light, guidance, protection and direction of God shine through them. Take a moment this holiday to unwrap a thank you for their investment in your life.