Today my 7 year old started 2nd grade. Labor Day has passed. Summer vacation is over and a new school year has begun.
Not unlike his sentimental Mama, this did not sit well with my little boy last night. He was sad that summer was ending. And he was nervous for the new school year that was just hours away from beginning. As we ate dinner and got ready for bed, nervous tears filled his eyes. I held him. I reassured him. I spoke Truth to him. I prayed with him.
Mommy put on a tough front, but her insides were squirming, too. I didn’t want to be the overly sappy or protective mom and I didn’t think I was…but your insides seem to have a way of exposing the real you.
While cleaning up the kitchen together in an uncomfortable silence after the kids were in bed, my rock of a husband grabbed my hand and said, “I think the older he gets the harder it is to release him.”
And the tears boiling up in my insides started to make their way to the outside.
He was right. As our boy’s growing body grows more and more cells, it’s tempting for my heart and mind to grow more and more fears and concerns. And the fuller my hands, the harder it sometimes is to loosen my grip.
As Adam and I prayed together that night, my grip tightening fears came to the surface. My mind was suddenly filled with the “What ifs”…
What if he doesn’t know what to do or where to go or who to talk to?
What if he gets overwhelmed and scared?
What if he gets left out and alone?
What if he doesn’t like second grade?
What if he doesn’t remember enough from math and he gets frustrated and it’s too hard?
What if he gets hurt?
What if he hears things he shouldn’t and we have to have conversations we didn’t want to have?
What if his behavior gets worse and we have to discipline more?
What if this year is really HARD?
But as softly cried into my pillow, the Holy Spirit gently but firmly interrupted my swirling thoughts…
“I know who you are. I know Who I AM. And I’m really good at being God.”
Even though I had spent time that evening neatly writing my son’s name all over his school supplies…
Even though I have relished this title of “Mom” to my Isaiah…
Neither of those were the names that were of utmost importance.
He knows who we are. And He knows Who He is.
I AM. (Exodus 3:14)
The Self-existent and Self-sustaining One.
The Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
The Immutable and Unchanging One.
The One who has already gone before and with my boy.
The One who promises to use the HARD for our GOOD.
And how quickly I had forgotten the words I had read only a few minutes earlier…
“God is not working to make my journey between the ‘already’ and the ‘not yet’ as easy as it could possibly be. God is never caught up short when one of his children is enduring difficulty, as if something strange were happening. No, walking with Jesus is not the grand vacation, a life free of responsibility and trial. Walking with Jesus is not like that because our right here, right now life with him is not a destination (as a vacation would be). He is not Vacation Planner Jesus; he is our sovereign Savior King. Thus, this present life is meant by God to be a time of preparation for the final glorious destination that will be our eternal home. So our right-now life is not a paradise. Right now, God in grace, is working to prepare us through the difficulties of life in this fallen world for what is guaranteed to each and every one of his children.” – Paul Tripp
I realized that in all of my fears and concerns, what I really was wanting was control, comfort, and ease. A little Kingdom of ME. The desires at the moment that were ruling my heart showed that I wasn’t much valuing WHO Jesus is or what He was working to do in the hearts and lives of both myself and my little boy. After all, I don’t need a Vacation Planner Jesus. I need a Sovereign Savior King who can certainly carry my precious Isaiah. I may be able to walk him to school, but HE is the One Who is walking him through life. And I do want so much more for him than a good education and I hand-full of friends. I want him to KNOW JESUS, whatever it takes.
The ease of summer vacation may be over. And this school year just might be hard. But this year is already held in the hands of the great I AM. And I might need a little reminder of Who He is…
I AM the Bread of Life who nourishes and satisfies your soul (John 6:35).
I AM the Light of the World who brings salvation and causes you to shine like stars in the universe (John 8:12; Philippians 2:15).
I AM the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep in your ultimate protection (John 10:14).
I AM the Resurrection and the Life and even death is defeated by me (John 11:25).
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life who gives access to the Father, truth in a world of lies, and life abundantly (John 14:6).
I AM the True Vine in whom you can abide and hide (John 15:1).
And He’s really good at being God.
What calming salve that is to my anxious heart.
Whatever this school year brings – whether it’s ease and laughter or trials and tears – may we be found abiding in who He is, walking with Him, trusting that, as HIS children, He will work EVERYTHING for our GOOD and the GLORY of HIS name…and that NOTHING can separate us from the love of the great I AM.
“None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothingcan get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.“
Romans 8:37-39 (The MESSAGE)