Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. – Exodus 2:1-3 (NIV)
My wife and daughter recently had an opportunity to go on a mission’s trip to Mexico with our church. It was an established ministry with a number of trips already behind them over the last several years. There were several adults in the group and a number of safety measures were in place. It was very difficult to let them go without any fear or anxiety, to trust that they would be safe, but it was clear that this was the direction God was moving our family.
Trusting our children to the river and the reeds, trusting them to the care of God, is not an easy discipline. We sometimes get being responsible for our children mixed up with having control over their lives. When Moses was placed among the reeds, he began a journey that changed the course of history. It was only through his mother’s willingness to let him go that kept him alive and moved him closer to fulfilling God’s purposes. I don’t know what his mother felt like. I can’t put myself in her shoes. But I remember what I felt like when my wife asked if our little girl could go with her to Mexico.
Those feelings of fear, anxiety and doubt revealed a weakness in me. It uncovered a crack in the armor; I needed to learn more about trusting God. Instead of responding with excitement at the opportunity for my daughter to experience ministry, I reacted with trepidation. It took some time, prayer and the patience of my wife for me to finally work it out, and I hope I will be more prepared the next time I need to let one of my children go into a situation that causes me discomfort.
God gives us responsibility over our children, but our ability to trust them to God’s care is at the heart of that responsibility. We need to be willing to let our children be the people God created them to be, and that may take them directions we aren’t comfortable with. As a matter of preparation, we need to turn our children over to God each day. We need to pray that our children will be sensitive to God’s call on their lives, even if that means going places that cause us stress.
Lord, help me to trust you with my children. Give me the courage and humility to trust you with their future, no matter where that leads them. Release me from my false sense of control. Amen