Psalms 127: 3-4
Yesterday my heartstrings got tugged a bit, well actually a whole lot. It was the day my youngest son was sworn into the United States Air Force, and left for basic training. My heart alternated between being full of joy for the man he has become, and full of sadness for missing him, and knowing that this isn't just any job that he is leaving for, this is the military, where he could possibly be put in harms way.
Yes, this letting go tugs at our hearts. It is something all mothers (and fathers) must go through. The second they are placed in our arms as babies, we fall madly in love with them. We toil and labor and play and pray with them. We worry...way too much. We worry, are we doing a good job? Are we doing everything we should to nuture this child, to raise him or her to know and love God? We worry about every ache, illness, and choice that affects our child. And then we start the process of letting go...inch by inch...as they grow and begin to make decisions for themselves, giving them a bit more freedom and responsibility as they mature. And then those 'wonderful' teenage years hit, where their need for freedom, and our need to guide them clash quite regularly! But we make it through, unscathed, but most definitely having earned the gray hairs that begin to show up. And then, the moment arrives. The moment when they leave home for the first time. We launch those arrows, that we have poured our life blood into, out into the world. The scary world, away from the safety of home and us. And that is when we learn what trusting God is all about. That is when we learn to really pray, the 'on our knees' types of prayer.
I have a confession. It wasn't until my oldest son left home for college, 2400 miles away, that I really learned to pray as if my life depended on it. Suddenly, I knew, no one would be there for him, out in this scary world, like his Dad and I had been. Would he be ok? And then God gave me a scripture of comfort, in Psalms 91:4
He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark.
I read that verse through a mothers eyes. I read it as;
He will cover (your child), with His pinions, and under His wings, (your child) may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and a bulwark (to your child)
With that verse, God was telling me, "Let go", it's my turn. We did our job as best we could for 18 years, but now He took over. Those arrows that we launced out into the world, were now under His care, His direction, not ours. The path they take was His and theirs to determine, not ours anymore. One by one, each of our three children left our nest, left our sheltering wings, to go directly to His sheltering wings. Oh, what joy to know that God loves them immensely more than we think we do!
And what comfort to know, that the very best thing I could do for them was pray, to get on my knees for them.
So this is my prayer for my youngest son,
May you always look to God for guidance in every test, every trial you will face.
May you have a heart full of praise to Him, in all things.
May you honor your God in your life as you serve Him, and now our country.
And dear God, please keep him safe.