The title of the post is a quote from my husband. 🙂
Our second son is away for a few days as he joins the provincial boy scout jamboree. Aside from our solo trips as a couple, this is the first time that our home is incomplete. And my husband and I are definitely feeling his absence…
On the third day that he is away (which is yesterday), we checked on him at their campsite. And now we wish we didn’t visit him, hehe.
As boy scouts on a camp, they sleep inside their tents with just a banig serving as a mattress. I can just imagine how the tent gets cramped at night, housing around 30 boys. And since the event coincided with the start of the summer months, it is terribly hot in the afternoon and dusty all day long. We also learned that Yuan lost his rubber shoes and slippers. He had been eating with his hands (covered with plastic bag) because he misplaced his utensils.
Despite all these, he seemed happy to be with his classmates. We asked him if he wants to go home. He said no and reasoned that he was having a great time, making new friends, and learning new things.
But this did not seem to console my husband.
Before we went to sleep last night, my husband voiced out his concern. He was anxious about Yuan. He was worried about our son’s condition in the campsite.
Him: Kumusta na kaya si Yuan ngayon? Nakakatulog kaya sya? Sana iniuwi ko na lang sya kanina… (I wonder how Yuan is doing. Is he sleeping well? I think it was better if I brought him home today.)
Me: Hindi mo siguro sya pinagpi-pray, ano? (So, you have not been praying for him?)
Him: Bakit naman? Hindi ah.. Pinagpi-pray ko sya. (What made you think so. Of course, I’ve been praying for him.)
Me: E bakit masyado ka pa ring nag-aalala? Di ba pag pinag-pray, we are putting things in God’s hands na? (Then why are you so worried? I think if we prayed for something, we are placing it on God’s hands.)
This conversation was followed by a discussion on prayer and how we should and could entrust our children to God.
Isn’t it contradictory to pray and still worry about what we prayed for?
But oftentimes, we just say our prayers unconsciously. It’s like fulfilling the routine of keeping God updated about our lives and the things that concern us. And afterward, we return to our daily schedules, worried and anxious, as if we never really prayed.
I think camping is a foretaste of what will come in the future. I honestly dread the thought of sending my kids to the university for their college education. I can’t imagine being away with them. What about their safety? What if they make wrong choices? What if they fall into bad company? What if they forget all that we taught them? What if something terrible will happens to them? There’s just too much uncertainty as we let our children live on their own in the “real world.”
As parents, we are privileged to raise up children and instill godly characters in them. We were given a short time to prepare them for the longer future without us. As we teach them to stand on their own feet, we parents should at the same time learn to be dependent on God’s protection and guidance for our children.
More and more, I hope I am learning to let go and submit my children to the Lord. Yes, I must labor to sow seeds of faith in their young hearts through His word and the life that I live. But I must also have confidence and assurance that God is primarily responsible for my children in all areas of their lives.
These past months, I have been more earnest in praying for my children. Like my husband, at times, my little heart still gets fearful and feel troubled about them and their futures. And I always need to be reminded of God’s words…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6).
So, instead of worrying, God bids me to come and make my requests known to Him. And when I am on my knees, I need to completely hand Him the things and the persons that I am anxious about so that after I pray, my faith and hope in Him have conquered all my fear.
I believe an essential part of prayer is intimately and truly knowing just how great and good the God to whom I am bringing my requests. Prayer is all about trusting that God is both great (He is powerful and can do anything) and at the same time good (He loves His children and purposes to give them what is best). When I pray, I have to acknowledge these fundamental truths so I can also offer Him thanksgiving and praise even when I still don’t know how He will specifically respond to my petition. I believe this is what the verse above means when it asks us to come to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. We cannot thank God without acknowledging and building our hope in His goodness and greatness. And a heart that has trusted God can give thanks. And a heart that has given thanks has ceased to worry.
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