I attended my high school girls senior send off earlier this week. This is when the parents of our seniors stand up before the church and talk about their children, and in many ways say a formal good-bye before their child leaves for college. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it through the whole thing, but I was awkwardly sitting in the front row and had no way of running for the door without being noticed. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hear one father say “My daughter has been such a joy. Everywhere she goes there is music, and now our house is going to be so quiet.” I wanted to hear that, but it also broke my heart a little. And it’s not that I didn’t want to hear a single mom tell her only son “You know I would do it all over again if I could.” I wanted to hear it, there was so much passion mixed into those words, but my heart almost leapt from my chest as she was talking. And then there was the dad that told his son “Your love for Jesus is so contagious, and we know that you will always lead people to the Father wherever you go.” What words those are! Is there anyone reading this that can’t feel the power in that? One mother described bringing her oldest daughter home from the hospital and “having for the first time a glimpse of the love that the Father has for His children.” I remember thinking that same thing when I came home with my daughter. You just do not quite understand it until you are holding that baby, and though you feel so much love for that child, you also feel so loved by the Father in heaven. It’s like you finally get it.
I cried through the entire ceremony, and it was the bad kind of crying. The crying where your face looks deformed and you cannot catch your breath. In some ways it was a sad cry, because saying good-bye is just kind of sad; but in many more ways it was a happy cry. It was a cry that made me grateful for the Lord’s gifts and provisions over all of these families. None of the families were perfect, but their God is, and in Him they were all able to rest in His strength and in His promises…and that was a beautiful thing. I was telling my Mom about it and she reminisced about sending me off to college. It was a hard time for both of us and when she left the campus that day she told my Dad “I feel like I’m leaving my lamb in the lion’s den”…and in a lot of ways she was. I started thinking a lot about that this afternoon, and thinking that this is likely how many parents feel, and then I remembered scripture. Do you recall what happened the morning after Daniel had been thrown into the lion’s den?
At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight.” Daniel 6: 19-22
Are you a mother to a lamb that is getting ready to walk into what seems like a lion’s den? A place so far from home? I pray you will take comfort in these words from our Father. He will send His angels, and He is capable of shutting the mouths of the lions. I am a walking and breathing testimony to that truth. Trust the Father with your precious lambs my friends. No one is more able to keep watch over them, than the One that neither slumbers nor sleeps. You can rest in that promise.