The kids are growing up

I hope you’ll allow me a bit of introspection in today’s devotional—perhaps something in my personal reflections will be relevant to your walk as well.

We dropped our oldest child off at college last week, and—as with many significant life changes—it brings new perspectives. Like most things, you see it happening in other people’s lives and feel like you have a sense of what they’re feeling.

Then you realize you don’t.

As many of you know, God has blessed us with four children. I can’t count the number of times—particularly when they were younger—when a kind older couple would approach our family and say something like, “Now you enjoy those kids while they’re young, because you’ll turn around twice and they’ll be gone.”

I’d usually smile and say “thanks,” but in the back of my mind I’d disagree.

Eighteen years is forever.

We’ll always have one in diapers.

College is an eternity from now.

And then one day you wake up and realize they were right all along.

With his perfect timing, God has brought this psalm to my mind often lately:

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate (Psalm 127:3-5).

If we’re parents, we should take these words to heart and treasure our kids as the incredible blessings they are.

But we ought to remember as well—especially in times of transition and uncertainty—that God loves our children even more than we do.

He’s their Parent, their Father, their Savior, their Lord.

Even before they were born, he knew them.

Before we heard them cry, he loved them.

And he’s still watching over them.

The first part of that same psalm says this:

Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep (Psalm 127:1-2).

I think this psalm speaks to all of us who are parents—God is the one who builds the house . . . he’s the one watching over the city.

If we still have children at home, we should enjoy them, love them, cherish them, teach them.

If our kids have left home, we should trust the one who’s always with them. God is a gracious Father who cherishes them infinitely more than we do. He’s their Abba, their Protector, their Guide.

It’s amazing how quickly we go from the colic to college, from diapers to degrees.

James was right, wasn’t he? “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (4:17).

Take advantage of the opportunities we have, but always remember our Sovereign Father who’s watching over and caring for all of his children, including the ones we send off to college.

2 thoughts on “The kids are growing up”

  1. Chuck, I love this post. Ironically, I was just listening to a sermon you preached last summer about how our children begin to test us to see if we really mean what we say at around 18 months. The span from 18 months to 18 years is truly as short as our elders knowingly tried to tell us. As we live from day to day, we don’t notice the aging process so much. But, then, in the midst of it all, we look up and realize that we have “become our parents!”. Just like that! This aging thing is tough, and, yes, it certainly puts the brevity of life into a much clearer perspective. Carter has just over a month before she leaves her teen years. So difficult to comprehend. After all, weren’t we just 20 and in college ourselves? 🙂

    1. It’s incredible how quickly they grow up . . . sometimes I wish I could just hit the “pause” button and freeze them where they are. But it doesn’t work that way, and it’s exciting to see what God does through them. Thanks for posting!

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