How to Trust God with Your Children
"It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command." Hebrews 11:23 (NLT)
When my first-born child Morgan went off to college, I didn’t handle it well.
Even though I was excited for her and this new stage of life, anxiety, worries and concern over her safety and her future began to feel like a tourniquet on my heart.
As the summer months after graduation flew by, Morgan and I spent lots of fun time together making all the preparations for college living. August finally arrived and we were all filled with nervous excitement. I managed to make it through the move-in day without shedding a tear. But when the time came for us to head home, I felt like I was leaving my baby on a doorstep in a tattered basket and walking away.
The tears started pouring! And continued over the next week. I cried so often, I thought my tear ducts would dry up completely.
These were not necessarily sad tears, just mama tears filled with mixed emotions, coupled with the reality that my little girl was growing up and this new season of life was here to stay.
After a week of being teary-eyed, I received a wake-up call from my other daughter Kaitlyn. She said, "Morgan didn’t leave forever, Mom, she just went to college."
Her comment took me by surprise, and we had a good chuckle. But it also helped me recognize that I needed to stop stressing everyone out (including myself) by being overly emotional, and start trusting God with my most precious commodity — my children.
I realized I’d spent so much time worrying about Morgan, that I hadn’t spent enough time entrusting her into God’s care.
This experience brought to mind a biblical mother who literally did put her child in a basket and entrusted him into God’s care. Moses’ mother Jochebed knew Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had ordered all Hebrew baby boys be killed. Pharoah feared the Israelites would soon outnumber and overpower the Egyptians.
Jochebed hid her newborn son Moses for three months, but then knew she could protect him no longer. So the Bible tells us, "she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River" (Exodus 2:3b, NLT).
Leaving my daughter at college was hard, but imagine how Jochebed must have felt, watching her precious baby floating down the river in a basket. A million things could have gone wrong; she could have fretted over every worst-case scenario possible. Instead, she entrusted her child to God Himself.
Although we don’t know exactly what Jochebed was feeling, I like to think she believed God had a plan and purpose for her child’s life, giving her the courage to step away from the basket. Jochebed soon learned God orchestrated Pharoah’s daughter to bathe in the river at the perfect time, rescue Moses from the basket and commit to raise him as her own. Then Pharoah’s daughter even hired Jochebed to nurse him until he was older.
Jochebed must have believed God loved her child more than she did, especially as she saw His incredible plans fall into place.
As moms, we want to keep our kids safe, protect them from pain, fix their problems, make their decisions and steer them in the right direction. However, there comes a time when we realize we aren’t in control anymore and have to accept that our children’s futures are in God’s hands, not ours.
Whether your child is starting kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, this is the time of year when parents can trust God and believe He has good plans for their children’s lives.
What comfort and peace it brings to remember God is always in control and ever present in our children’s lives, even when we can no longer be.
Lord, help me keep my worries at bay as I send my child off into the next phase of life. Give me a confident faith to believe You are always with them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Joshua 1:9, "This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (NLT)
Isaiah 40:11, "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (NIV)
Visit Tracie Miles’ blog for six tips on what not to do when your child goes off to college.
For encouragement on how to make God’s peace a reality in your life when parenting seems to be a source of stress, consider purchasing Tracie’s book Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you trusting your abilities to protect your child(ren) more than you’re trusting God’s? How might you need to change that perspective?
Think about your top three fears for your children. Ask God to replace those fears with trust and help you live in courageous faith that He is in control.