In His Hands

I had a chance to talk and pray with my pastor earlier this week. We had arranged to meet to talk church business, but had plenty of personal items to catch up on, what with 7+ years having passed since he was last in our congregation, his family having just moved back from Bolivia, and my family having so many things going on. We talked and prayed a lot about our children, and while his are all teens or pre-teens, and mine are both much younger, we were coming from the same place, in terms of our love for them, and desire for God’s hand to be involved in their lives.

As we lifted each others’ children up to God in prayer, I had a fleeting pang of panic. I love my kids so much, and am aware of so many threats and dangers they now face and will continue to face as they grow older. Their preciousness to me heightens my worry over them being susceptible to so many hurts.

Indeed, at a very real level, my kids, my pastor’s kids, all kids are worryingly vulnerable. Physical ailments, emotional wounds, sexual predators, the relentless lies and corruptions of our society are like waves of danger threatening to wash over the youngest among us. It is enough to make a parent prayerful; enough even to make him or her continue to worry, even after praying.

Yet, on another level, we who have metaphorically and literally dedicated our kids into God’s care can know that they are perfectly protected. I am not so na├»ve as to think that just because a kid’s parents are Christian and pray for them, they are somehow immune to the terminal illnesses, mental health breakdowns, physical abuse, and other harms that afflict our children. To be in God’s hands does not preclude that we are wounded, in some cases irreparably or fatally.

God is a Father, and He did not spare His own Son from affliction, humiliation, and death. He had a purpose in those sufferings, and I have seen with my own eyes how childhood wounds can be redeemed for a glorious purpose. When I pray for my kids or anyone else’s, I do hope God will shelter them from harm on this side of glory. But I am also praying for a vastly deeper form of protection, to a Father who exalted His bruised Son, and in doing so loved all of us His children.
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