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Friday, May 9, 2014

The Open Hand

"The whole earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof,
the world and all those who dwell therein."
Psalm 24:1

This has been and promises to be a  difficult and yet joyful week for our family.   Just a few days ago, our eighteen year old son came very close to losing his life due to a ruptured and leaking appendix.  His fever was over 103 degrees upon arrival at the hospital and it refused to come down. His abdomen was being overtaken by infection and he was in more pain than I have ever seen someone.
Emergency room at St. Dominic Hospital, Bacoor, Cavite

 For 24 hours, we did not know for certain how the infection would respond to treatment and if the surgery was enough to remove it. 
Friends and family on three continents were lifting up our son in prayer and God saw fit to heal.  Faithful and Awesome is our God! 

On the drive home from the hospital, I could not hold back the tears of gratitude and relief. Many people lose children.  Believers lose children.   There are no guarantees in the Christian life that God will not have us walk that path.  I pray that He won't but He is sovereign and will do what He sees fit. That is just how our God moves.  

"And He is before all things. In Him, all things hold together"
Colossians 1:17

Right on the heels of the illness of one son, two other children are packing their bags to return to the United States for college.
"See You Later" lunch at Italliani's . Bittersweet day.

Missing her so much and she hasn't even left yet!

Although I am beyond sad at the thought of having my beautiful progeny living on a different continent than the rest of us, there is much to be grateful for in this situation.  They go back to our home state of North Carolina and will be staying with their Grandparents. They will have aunts, uncles, cousins and other relatives nearby.  They will be with people who love them and who know the Lord, who I pray will always point them to Jesus.   
But so far away.
THIS is the phase of life I have dreaded since they were born.  The time when they separate physically and venture out on their own.
I changed their diapers, I taught them to read. Their father and I did the best that we knew how to do, however flawed, to show them the great love that Jesus has for them.  Now the responsibility shifts to them to make good choices and be the people God created them to be.  

"The heart of man plans his way but the Lord establishes his steps".
Proverbs 16:9

I know the Lord is hard at work, individually, in the lives of these precious treasures of mine. He is at work in my heart, too. 
As I came to Him in prayer these last few days, the echo in my own heart was "open your hand, Mama".   
And I understand a little more fully that these children are not and never were "ALL MINE".  These are souls created by their Heavenly Father, loaned to us, and He does what He pleases with these lives.  My worry and tears will not preserve them.  I learned that fully in the hospital this week.   It is all about our Great God, His will, His plans and His sovereignty.  

So, it is with a trusting heart and an open hand that I can state without a doubt that the children God has loaned to us are HIS, all the more,  I look forward to what He will do in them.  

"Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’"  Isaiah 46:9-10

If you are reading this post and all your children are young, I will not patronize you with the "they grow up so fast" rhetoric. 
I will encourage you with "start NOW in trusting the Lord with them."  Do not waste another moment believing that you will not have to open your own hand someday.  You will.   My  prayer for you young parents is that you pray more and worry less, knowing that God can and will do what He pleases in the life of your child.  
Be a good steward. Train them with His word.  Guide them toward Him.  Model Godly living.  Pray together. 

Always, with an open hand . . .

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