Monday, August 26, 2002
It's one of life's passages - taking your first child to college. You drive off, leaving your firstborn there, knowing your life and theirs will never be quite the same. When we left our daughter at the Christian college she had chosen, her two younger brothers were sure they knew how their mother would react. In fact, without announcing it, they just kept watching her all the way home, waiting for my wife to cry. She never did, and they were baffled. They finally asked, "Why didn't you cry, Mom?" Well, see, the college had given us parents two days of very reassuring orientation, and we had been very impressed with how they had thought through their students' needs. So why didn't Mom cry? Well, she told them, "I don't cry about leaving my child when I know they're in good hands."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Safe Place For Your Child."
Our word for today from the Word of God is one of the strongest promises in the Bible for a parent or a grandparent. It's found in Isaiah 40:11. Talking about the one Isaiah calls "the Sovereign Lord," it says, "He tends His flock like a shepherd. He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. He gently leads those that have young."
If you're a parent, you have at least one of those "lambs" that the Lord carries in His arms close to His heart. Maybe your lamb is pretty big now - maybe all grown-up - but whatever their age, they are still your lambs. And you could put their name in that verse, where it says, "The shepherd's carrying them. God assures us that He is with them when we can't be, where we can't go, holding and guarding them as we never could. Beyond that, He says that if you "have young," He is there to gently lead you in your parenting. That's an awesome promise, huh?
When we left our daughter at college, my wife said she could be at peace because she knew our daughter was in good hands. I heard a similar confidence expressed recently by some dear friends who were experiencing one of life's most heartbreaking hurts - the sudden death of their son. But through her tears, that mom said, "I have this unshakable confidence. God has assured me. My son is safe. And I'm OK."
Now that's the ultimate expression of a confidence that can sustain a parent through all the joys and heartaches of raising a son or daughter. He or she is in good hands. They're in God's hands. It just could be that you need to totally release your son or daughter into those very strong hands, because you've been holding onto to them too much.
When you don't release your child to God's hands consciously and regularly, you tend to nag too much, push too much, intrude too much, talk too much, listen too little. Some of us are control freaks, and the more we see something in our child we don't like, the more we try to control them. And the more they rebel. When you don't trust your son or daughter to God, you tend to be a parent who is full of stress and tension, instead of the relaxed kind of parent who can make good decisions and avoid polarized relationships.
When our kids were babies, we held them in our arms in a church service and dedicated each one of them to the Lord. They're way too big physically to do that with now, but I've realized how often we need to do it spiritually and emotionally - on a daily basis. Each new morning, hold your child before the Lord and give them back to the One who gave them to you in the first place.
No matter where your child is, no matter what they're going through, you can have that unexplainable sense of well-being. You can relax if you know they're in good hands. And if you released them, they're in the best of hands. They're in the hands of Almighty God!