For the LORD’s portion is His people, Jacob His allotted inheritance. In a desert land he found him...He guarded him as the apple of His eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
Deuteronomy 32:9-11 NIV
School is about to start. Some of your little ones are anxiously anticipating their first day of kindergarten. You, however, may be anxious, but not joyful. Your sweet, baby duck has been with you for the last few years, but now he is about to spread his wings to climb on a school bus for the first time. Over the next few weeks, he will learn to carry his own lunch tray, deliver completed homework and begin to expand his circle of friends and interests. Perhaps your child is a little older, and she's packing boxes to leave for a college dorm. No longer will you be able to gaze across the dinner table each evening and discuss her day. As parents we began dreaming of our children's futures before they were born; thinking "what they will be when they grow up?" Then our babies begin to grow up, and we struggle with letting them take off, to spread their wings and take that leap of faith.
As our children grow we love celebrating milestones, but these accomplishments come through sacrifices, struggles, failures, sweat, tears and much prayer. What I am reminding myself as we prepare for the upcoming year, I need to open my hand to allow the omnipresent God to spread His wings to catch my sons and carry them aloft. I can't go to college with my child, I can't fix every mistake, I can't lead him down the correct path for his life...I'm not that smart. The good news is I know the One who can! Parenting is more about letting go than about holding on. The hardest part of our job is not making the right decisions, knowing what to do or how to do it. The hardest part is letting go, allowing our baby duck to jump out of the tree to go to kindergarten, high school, college, move to a new town for a job or travel overseas with the military.
Our Lord loves your baby duck more than you do. Elohim (All-Powerful One, Creator) is everywhere at all times and will be at college with my child. Yehovah (Great I AM) who never fails, promises to fix every mistake my child makes in a way that is for the best. Yehovah-Rohi (The LORD is my Shepherd) will lead my child down the correct path for his life. I rest in the comfort that when my child leaves the nest, for an hour, several months or years, there is a loving Abba, Father, who goes with him and is more capable than I am to provide whatever help is needed. As I open my hand and let my child leap from the nest, Yehovah Ropha (One who heals) comes to comfort my heart that is sad, since I will miss him. I also trust Adonai (My Great Lord) to fill my life with meaning as my child becomes less dependent on me for daily protection and guidance. The Lord is stirring up my nest and will provide all I need according to His marvelous grace. Maybe His plan is that I have more time to devote to prayer for my family and to mentor other parents. HMMMmmmm....
I close today with in prayer from a song, Find Your Wings, by Mark Harris:
It's only for a moment you are mine to hold The plans that heaven has for you Will all too soon unfold So many different prayers I'll pray For all that you might do But most of all I'll want to know You're walking in the truth And If I never told you I want you to know As I watch you grow
I pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings
It's not living if you don't reach for the sky I'll have tears as you take off But I'll cheer as you fly.
Sweet LORD, may You be the wind that catches our duckling when they fall, be the wind that carries them aloft, and please guard them as the apple of Your eye. Thank you for Your unfailing love for each of us. Amen.