I love that song by Chris Tomlin.
I really love it when my six-year-old son is singing it from the backseat of our van, on the way to his first day of school.
It produces so many different thoughts and emotions in my heart.
The first is a still small voice reminding me that, as King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, there is a season for everything. Our family is in a season where we need to trust the foundation we have given our kids as they embark on a whole new journey of public school. It does my heart good to hear my son singing to His God, not just his parents’ God. I know at times he will forget where to turn when he is scared, or confused, or pressured. But I also know at times, he will whisper a quiet prayer, or sing a simple song, finding refuge in his Father.
The second feeling is pride. Not a worldly pride for what we have done as parents, or a pride for the skills my son and daughter (who starts kindergarten next week) may have in life. I feel proud that my kids are beginning a journey that will require them to lean more on God than ever before, and that they are ready for this journey.
Just an hour before our trip to school, I saw a picture on twitter with 23 New Bremen football players, voluntarily participating in a Bible study before school, with their new FCA chaplain James Lampart.
I allowed myself a glimpse into my son’s future. Eight years from now, maybe he will be a part of that kind of study with his team. Maybe he will step into a role where he leads his teammates and friends down a road of faith. Maybe my daughter will take time to pray for her friend when they are alone at the lunch table. Perhaps she will lead the prayer around the flagpole at her middle school. Or maybe that will happen this year, as their hearts are filled with compassion for the hurts of their classmates. I know every day won’t be a bed of roses, but oh what our God can do with a willing heart! I pray.
What an amazing opportunity we have as we send our kids to school. We get to let go of something that is most precious to us, but is much more cherished by the God that made them.
We get to pray for our kids without knowledge of how they are feeling, or what they are doing at any particular moment. Yet I’m excited to see how the Holy Spirit leads these prayers, sometimes in specific ways, and others more generally, so that I can offer up petitions that are the perfect medicine to whatever situation Anna and Nathan are involved in, in that moment.
We get to have conversations after school about important things. We enter in to valuable moments where little hearts and minds are processing the interactions they had the previous six and a half hours. We get to mourn when they mourn and celebrate when they celebrate. We get to pray for the kids that are struggling, and encourage our sweet servants of God to come alongside those kids in friendship and with love.
Being a parent is a lot of things. Each season, we seem to learn so much more than we ever expected. Today, I’m realizing there is a whole new dimension of parenting, as I send my kids to school.
But where they go, I know God goes. And so, I will trust Him.
The angel told Gideon, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior.”
I told my son the same thing this morning.
And, yes, God tells you that as well.