They Are Not My Own
I don't know about you, but when I think about something happening to one of my children, my heart literally feels like it will stop beating. It's not pleasant to even think about, and yet I'm sure the thought has crossed most mothers' minds.
And heartbreakingly so, some mothers have actually experienced the loss of their child. (My prayer as I write this post is that if you are reading this and you have lost a child, God will give you the grace to continue breathing, continue loving and continue living. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.)
And yet, while raising our children, I must remember they are not our own. We are simply stewards given the high calling of introducing our children to Jesus, showing them how to love Him and how to love others. This ultimately brings our Father glory.
When thinking about this one day, the Lord brought to mind the parable of the stewards (Matthew 25:14ff). If you're familiar with this parable, you might remember the steward who was afraid of his master and buried the treasure he'd been entrusted with. I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to look with disdain on the steward who buried his treasure and think, "Why would he do that? He should have been wise like the other stewards and invested his treasure."
But you know what? More often than not, I am bent towards "burying" my treasure (our children) for fear that something might happen to it (them). What does this look like? It looks like me not trusting Jesus to protect my children if they aren't in my care, tending towards fear and anxiety at times that they will get really sick or wanting to have them close by me. Like forever. Really? Do they have to go away to college? Do they have to move out of state or "worse" yet, out of the country?
And yet, when I'm tempted to overly shelter our children, I'm not trusting my gracious Shepherd, Jesus Christ. True, there is no guarantee that nothing bad will happen to them, but should something happen that breaks my heart, I know God will give me the strength I need when all I have left is weakness.
Lord-willing, my children will out-live me and I'll die a happy old Grandma some day (with lots of grandbabies and great grandbabies!), but even so, I must remember I am a steward of the treasure I have been given. Sure, I share the same DNA with these precious pumpkins, but what matters most is if we share the same spiritual DNA. I must invest in them by training them to serve Christ and then Lord-willing, I will see some "interest" made on their life as they live for Jesus and lead others to Christ.
My spirit is often willing, but almost always I need to shake off the weak flesh. By God's grace, may I not ("bury") hide my children when I need to let them go where Christ calls them.
For now, I'm thrilled beyond belief that I get to be the Mommy to these precious souls. What a blessing to know that while I serve them, I serve Christ. I will love on them as much as I possibly can while they are entrusted to me and I need not fear loving them too much.
"We need to guard our lives against the love of riches and worldly cares. All love for earthly goods, however, is not a sin. Their sweetness is a drop of his love and they have his goodness imprinted on them. They kindle our love for him as love tokens from our dearest friend. Loving them is a duty, not a sin" (Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory, I:214-218).
Do you struggle with fear about your children? If so, how has God enabled you to deal with this?