Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Something to think about...

I heard from a college aquaintance this week who has a child that is about to go on a year mission trip. His child will be going to work in their field of expertise and while there will be working as a missionary as well. I don't even know the name of the country for sure, it is one of those countries where you have to be very careful since they do not want missionaries. I saw, and heard the mix in his voice. The mixture of pride in seeing his child be obedient to the call of God on their life and the fear that a parent always carries for each of their children, when you sense the child may be in danger. It was also difficult to fathom going more than a year without seeing your child.

It caused me to reflect on my own children. I remember when they were babies, that my wife and I dedicated them to the Lord. We said that they were the Lord's children and we agreed for Him to do His will in their lives. That is easy to say when you are holding them in your arms and you know they can't do much without your help. But it is another thing as they grow and mature. When they start, as they should, making decisions for themselves. It is another thing altogether when they begin driving (insert a pained expression here) and you realize that life will never be the same for either one of you. Then when they graduate, as you hope they will, and they go off to college or to work. (You hope that they will go to work sometime if they go to college.) I have always enjoyed and celebrated all of these movements into maturity and independence with my kids. But I have always held some apprehension as well. Not because I was worried about them, but I was concerned for them.

I can say with certainty, and relief, that my kids have made good choices and are leading lives that I am proud of. I am thrilled that they are following the Lord, are involved in their churches and they like each other and we all love being together. But I also confess that I still worry at times, that I will always be concerned for them and I probably pray as much, if not more, for them now as I did when they were living at home. (With the possible exception of potty training time, first driving trips and when they dated certain people.) It is just part of being a parent.

Maybe it was my conversation with my friend, or just being at my conference this week, but whatever the reason I have thought much of what I would do if my kids followed the Lord's leading to another country. I can honestly say that I would be bursting with pride in their courage and obedience. But I also must confess that I would be worried and it would be hard to go a year, let alone 2 or 3 years, without seeing them. But I would not want them to stay close because of me, I would want them to go where God was leading them.

You see I gave them to the Lord when they were born and asked Him to do His will in their lives. For me to now go back on that would make no sense. I hope they realize that I not only want what is best for them, but that I want God's best for them above all.

Here's to my friend, I will be praying for him and his child a lot. Here's to my children and grandchildren, love the Lord and do His will. Here's to you, I pray that you will know what it is to follow God's will, in whatever, wherever and whenever He leads. Here's to pride and prayer, being proud of those who follow the Lord and praying for them wherever they go. Here's hoping that we will all be obedient right where we are and wherever He leads us.


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