Kids growing up – it’s so encouraging, and yet so hard. We just dropped off Kenna, who is now gone for a week – she’s working the mission field; staying at a stranger’s house (at least to her mom and I) and working long hours sharing Christ’s love to kids.
As a parent, it’s both good and hard – I’d never call it bad. Hard in that someone we love so much and want to protect at all costs is now out in the world without our direct protection…good, because we know she is doing what she believes she is being asked by God to do, and we have the knowledge that God will watch over her.
I’m realistic; I know first-hand that God watching over us can put us in some fairly hard circumstances. Painful, life-altering circumstances. But, I am confident that God knows best, and if we must suffer, then suffer we will.
So, Kenna leaving for the next three weeks (we will see her just on the weekends) is a good thing and a hard thing.
As I told her, I remind myself – you’re not leaving, and this is not a good-bye. God is continuing to grow our family, and because of that growth, God is now using us in ways He has not done before. Our family’s reach is growing; no one has left. Our family ministry is expanding.
This is really what I want to share with you, and myself, as I write this…that our kids (your kids) do not leave; the reach of our family (your family) is growing. We (you) are now in more places, doing more things for the God we would give it all for. A healthy perspective is that they never leave – location does not determine the family, nor should it ever limit our effectiveness for God’s work.
As I shared this concept with my family last night, you could see the tension and sadness melt away – makes sense doesn’t it? There is no leaving going on, there is no separation happening; it is simply that our family ministry is growing, and God is using us to reach more of the harvest. Same family, just growth and an ever-increasing reach.
Thinking this way helps us see it differently – it makes it more exciting and strengthens the original purpose of going in the first place… to share the gospel with those that need to hear it.
We parents have our part in this just as our kids have their part in sharing the gospel. We are called to be active in prayer; seeking the will of God, the effectiveness of the gospel, and the safety of our kids (in that order).
A final thought in parting – These are also the times we parents trust with apprehension. My spirit trusts, but my flesh creates in me doubt and worry – that is normal to me, and simply another sign of the reality of God and my need for Him.
May God grant us an ever-increasing knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ…and may God use the little ones he has entrusted in our care to share the Good News of Jesus Christ the Son of God.