Sunday, May 31st, my youngest daughter graduated from High School. And, Lord willing, four years from now, this same daughter will graduate from the same college that my youngest son graduated from last weekend. Graduation usually marks a moment of reflection for the past 13 years and excitement for the future. A time to look back:
All 6 of my children graduated from high school with honors; one was a National Merit Scholar. All six of my children have chosen to pursue college in some form after graduation from high school; several of them have gone on to do post graduate studies with the accompanying degree for all of their efforts. All six are a blessing in my life.
So here is a big “Praise the Lord!” for His success in our children’s lives.
The truth is; at graduation something else happens in the life of a child and his or her parents; a new relationship happens. It is a relationship in which the child (now a young adult) starts to spread his or her wings and fly from the nest. We’ve trained, planned, practiced, and now the time is here; and it doesn’t always feel right. It’s always hard on me as a dad.
You see, for the next several years a new graduate will disappear; not completely from my life, just from my arms or “wings”. They will fly new places and “forget” about dear old dad until a few years later when all of a sudden the child appears and remembers dad and comes home to his arms once again.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Ecclesiastes 3 says that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” This is the time when children become adults. This is the time when children leave the nest and take flight instead of being under the “wings” of their parents.
For me it’s during this time that I understand a little bit better how much our Heavenly Father longs for us to be with Him; safe under His wings. I understand a little bit better how much the Lord longs to gather His children to Himself.
When Jesus walked the earth (remember He only did what He saw the Father doing), He modeled the Father’s love as He wept over Jerusalem, longing to gather them: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” Matthew 23:37 (NKJV)
Perhaps it’s been a long time since you’ve been with The LORD; referred to by Jesus as our Heavenly Father. Today would be a good day to remember and return to the safety of His “wings” . He longs to be with you and have you abide with Him.
Psalm 91: "Safety of Abiding in the Presence of God " 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.” (NKJV)