We’ve had a lot of “firsts” going on at our house recently. We moved one of our kids into his college dorm for the first time this weekend. The rest of the crew experienced their first day of school today… first day of preschool for the little ones and the first day of high school for my daughter.
The common denominator of all these “firsts” is that my kids are not at home as much. They are out experiencing new things, a little further out of my reach. The preschoolers are only gone a handful of hours a week, but my daughter will be gone almost as much as she is home this school year. And my oldest… walking by his near-empty bedroom reminds me that a big shift has taken place. His time at home will only amount to a fraction of the time he spends elsewhere.
When I am away from my kids, I find myself praying for them a lot. Help him feel safe in that new classroom… help her make friends… keep him safe on the roads. I’m also drawn to pray more for their hearts. Help him understand that he is loved… please draw her closer to You… help him hear your voice.
Why do I pray for them? I’d like to say that it’s because I know that Jesus is their only hope. But I would unfortunately be lying to you. I’ve realized lately that I pray a lot for my kids when they are away from me because they are out of my control. I can’t control what happens to them, what they do, the choices they make, the things that influence them. I am not with them to take care of them… so I pray for Jesus to take care of them in my stead.
The flip side to my recent prayerfulness isn’t very pretty, is it? If I only feel burdened to pray for my kids when they are not with me, then it follows that I don’t pray for them very often when they are with me. Why? Because I’ve got this, right? It’s all under control.
Do you see the sin behind that praying?
I am fooling myself into thinking that my kids only need Jesus when they don’t have me.
Let me let you listen in while I remind myself of the truth. Jesus is the only hope for my kids. Period. Their safety, both physical and spiritual, lies in his control, not mine. They need him every day, whether they are with me or not. Their hope is not in me and my stellar parenting (ha!); their hope is absolutely and only in him. My hope is absolutely and only in him. I am never in control! We all need Jesus, every minute of every day.
Every now and then God uses things like college dorm rooms and preschool classrooms to remind me that I am not in control. He reminds me that even when all my chicks are in the nest, he is the one who keeps us safe, not me. He reminds me to pray for them, when they are driving down the highway as well as when they are sleeping in the next room. They need him, all the time. And so do I.
He really is our only hope.
If you’d like to leave a thought or a comment, I sure would love to read it. Please scroll down to bottom right-hand corner of the cream-colored box and look for the little bubble with a + sign :).