Some folks can’t wait for their kids to grow up and leave home. Not me … no way!
Some years ago, when my oldest son left our family home at age 19, I felt like my heart was breaking. He was the first one to leave the nest. Our lives would never be the same again.
Several years ago my second son and his wife stayed in the States for Christmas. When I heard the song “I’ll be home for Christmas” tears welled up in my eyes and slid silently down my cheeks – for the first time my son would not be home for Christmas and I missed him. There was an ache in my heart.
This year my third son will be out of town celebrating Christmas with his wife and her family. It won’t be the same without them here. The family will be incomplete.
In several years our daughter, who presently still lives at home with us, could well be married and starting her own family. But for now she is here, and we are savoring it.
Change is not easy for me… it never has been. But I am getting better at it. It’s a growth process. Today I am at peace with where all my kids are at. They are walking in truth and integrity, and nothing gives me more joy than that.
Children do grow up and leave home. We may yearn for that time, or we may dread it, but it is part of God’s plan. Our job as parents is to give our kids roots, and then to give them wings. The giving of wings was the hard part for me even though I knew it was necessary and good.
In reflecting on the changes in our family life over the years I am reminded that God’s son, Jesus, left his home too. He left his heavenly home with his Father to come among us, to experience everything that we go through, and to ultimately give his life for us.
Indeed, God not only let his son leave home, he sent him to us for a specific purpose, knowing what it would cost. He knew all that his beloved son would go through in order to fulfill his destiny. Jesus became the Saviour of the world. I can only imagine the grief that tore at God’s heart as his son bore the sin of the world.
After his death and resurrection Jesus left us with the precious gift of his Holy Spirit. He then returned to his home with the Father where they are now together once more. But one day Jesus will again leave his home – he will come back to earth to restore all things and reign as King over all the world. What a glorious day that will be!
This Christmas it gives me comfort to remember that my God knows what it’s like to have his beloved child leave home and go out into a world that is often challenging, dark and hostile.
I am thankful that the Father sent his son, and he did it because of love. I am grateful that the Lord understands me through and through. Over the years he has proven himself time and time again. He knows my sorrows, my struggles, my joys. He loves me and will never leave me alone. He is always faithful. Recognizing this truth is the best Christmas gift ever.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only son …” (John 3:16)
Merry Christmas! We have a great and wonderful God! Jesus is Immanuel — God with us. With him we are never home alone.