Sunday, October 7, 2007

He Gives and He Takes Away

or, "A Tale of Three Mommas"

"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there,
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21

I feel myself on the verge of tears. I know three women about to send their children away -- one to the Air Force, one to Bible school in another country, and one to the mission field. All are worthy causes, noble ambitions. Wouldn't one be so proud to send one's child to any of three mentioned places? Yet, I can't help thinking about the mommas. The joy mixed with sadness, the pride mixed with longing.

We went to a party for the one headed off to the Air Force yesterday. He's one of my son's best friends. Family and long-time friends and relatively new friends gathered in his parents' home and ate some good food, looked at pictures of the young man at all stages of life as they passed on and off the tv screen, and talked about memories and stories. We all asked questions about where he's going, what he'll be doing, what he can take with him when he goes. He's a great kid and I think he'll do well. It's right for him...he knows that.

The biggest dilemma facing these moms...facing me in future years as well. We give birth to these blessings of God, we nuture them, pick them up when they fall, make sure they do their homework and clean their rooms, we teach them life lessons at every opportunity, we pray like crazy, and want the very, very best for them. We expect the best. Then they go. Whether it's to a far off country or off to make their own way, they go. We want it, we expect it, we plan for it, but that doesn't make it one bit easier to let them go. Not one bit, I can imagine. The momma of the son going to Bible college told me this morning, "He's going and we're not talking about it." Not because she's not proud or sure or hopeful, but because it's a huge step. In the Lord's plan for his life, apparently, but not easy, nonetheless.

So, fly sons and daughters, out of the nest, off to the great adventure. Your mommas will be here...always hoping, always praying, always expecting the best. I know you'll make them proud.

Serving the King,


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