Several years ago, we loaded up our vehicle and headed south into the beautiful mountains of Kentucky. While we were there for a funeral for a family member, we had some downtime at the lodge we were staying at. With four kids who had managed to survive the eight-hour car ride, some outdoor activity was a must! I wasn’t as excited about the choice my husband made though. I was hoping for the pool. Shopping. Or at the very least, a movie. Not hiking. Once my husband suggested it, the decision was made.
“Come on mooooooom!” one child begged. “We’ve been in a car all day,” another argued. “I want to see a bear!” one child pleaded. “Exactly!” I said. “That is exactly why I DO NOT want to go for a hike.” It was getting dark and as a “mother bear” myself, I was keenly aware that time was ticking. We were losing daylight, the kids were losing patience, and I was losing the argument. So off we went. Me, my husband, and four kids into a wooded trail. In the mountains. Did I mention it was getting dark?!
As a parent, everything inside of me was disagreeing with our decision. The deeper into the hike, the darker it got, and the heavier the fear settled on this momma. There was nothing flat about this trail. I was used to trails in Michigan. Flat. Safe. The rocky ledges, deep valleys, and hilly terrain was too much. Which is why we all screamed when Bella began to slip. It wasn’t a sudden drop. It was more like a slow-motion slide, that had my husband not grabbed her by the hair, would have ended poorly. Then she screamed. More because he had her by the hair than the impending danger she was in. He had caught her. Held her. Safely. By his hand. In the middle of unfamiliar terrain, out in the woods on the edge of the darkness, the safest place my daughter could be in that moment was in his hands.
It was a lesson I have never forgotten. I don’t always measure up as a mom. I fail. Fall short. But the good news is that my child is in the hands of God. Whether I succeed or fail, is beside the point. The God who created my children, and entrusted my children to me, will not let them out of his grasp. The safest place on earth is in God’s hands. It reminds me of what the psalmist said in Psalm 31:5:
“I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me, you’ll never let me down” (The Message).
The truth of God’s Word reminds us that even when we feel like we don’t measure up, God is in control. Not only is our life in his hands, but the life of our kids, are in his hands. He will not them down. Learning to release control is hard, but it is good for our hearts because in his hands is the safest place they could be.