“The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.” (Psalm 121:7-8)
This past weekend I spent some time at a party talking to other Moms. The funny thing is that we all worry about the same things. We all wonder about the same things. We all have the same concerns for our kids. I was talking to a Mom who is going to put her kids in public school after having them homeschooled. She was nervous about what they would encounter. She was afraid they would be made fun of. She was worried about what kind of behavior they would be exposed to. She had obviously spent a lot of time looking at each and every aspect of putting her kids in school full time. She came up with the pros and cons of each and every situation that could arise. She had prayed hard and thought even harder. She’s a great Mom who just wants to do the best for her kids.
I can relate because I was in her position several months ago. I wondered how my kids would fare after being so protected for all of their short lives. I worried that they would not fit in, or even worse, that they would. I was concerned that they would learn foul language and be confronted with mean people. I stayed awake at night wondering what would become of my kids being out of my sight each and every day. I didn’t know if they would continue in their walk with Christ or if they would forget all that I had taught them. I have taken the parenting classes, read the books and put into practice all that I have learned. But my fear was that it wouldn’t be enough. Letting them out of my control was a huge step for me. I wanted to keep them safe.
I am doing a Beth Moore bible study and these words struck me as profound, “As surely, thoughtfully, and purposefully as Adam cared for the ground God had given him, God cared for the man He’d formed with His own hands. Likewise, God is the caretaker of you and of me.” We always hear that God cares for us. He takes care of our needs and blesses us. But when I read this, I could relate to God as a parent. He watches over me and He watches over my kids. No matter how I try to protect, teach and love them, I can never do a better job than God, for He created them. He loves them more than I do.
I am thankful to say that my kids have done well in public school. It has not been perfect and they have learned a lot along the way that they would not have learned had they continued homeschooling. They are learning how hard it is to live in the world where people don’t believe in God. Their classmates come from broken homes and abuse. Most of them don’t have any idea that there is a God that loves them. My kids have become keenly aware of the fact that we live in a lost world. They have also come to recognize Jesus in the world. It’s been so exciting to hear as they tell stories of teachers who have shared Christ without speaking His name. It makes me thankful that their hearts can see Christ in the people around them. Wow!
I think what I have also learned this year is that my kids are in the Father’s hands. I certainly would not throw my kids into traffic and tell them to figure it out. God does not do that to us either. But He gives us opportunities to grow through experience. It is often hard and usually it hurts, but that’s when we turn to Him. My kids have done the same. There were times that my son was not “one of the cool kids” in his class. But he has learned what it feels like to be left out and now makes every effort to include everyone. He doesn’t partake when the other kids are teasing or being cruel. You see, he has learned to be Christ when no one else will. He only learned this from experience. I could never have taught him what it feels like to be a cast off. But, as hard as it’s been to watch, he has learned that everyone matters to God.
I know that I have tried so hard to be a good Mom. I take my responsibility seriously. I have looked at each situation from every angle. I have prayed and continue to pray hard for my kids. And what I have learned is that God cares for them. He cares for me. He allows only what we can handle, even when we have doubts. There are things I have had to watch my kids endure that have broken my heart. I know that the things I have to endure often break my Father’s heart as well. He understands so much more than I do. And He can see the complete picture. He is in the process of painting a masterpiece. Each and every trial is a new color that is being added to enhance the picture. That picture won’t be complete until we are called to be with Him forever. In the meantime, He will keep working on us because He loves us like with a Father’s heart.