Our son, Christian and two of his friends decided that it would be fun to go to camp together this summer. It’s about a two-hour drive from our home but Barry likes to leave so early that we could almost catch the last day of the previous camp. We stopped for lunch and we were still two hours early. Finally the gates opened and we drove in between all the hooting and hollering of the camp councilors welcoming the kids. We found Christian’s cabin and in just a few moments both his friends joined us. I handed in his care packages and his allergy meds and after big hugs Barry and I set off home.
“Just think,” Barry said, “we could see a different movie every night.”
“I know, and we can go out for dinner to all the places we like,” I added.
“And sleep late!” he said.
We looked at each other and unleashed at the same moment, “We just left our son in the middle of the woods with a bunch of strangers who say they are Christians but how do we know that!!!”
I am coming to realize that this whole being a parent thing will always tear at my heart. Christian is growing into a wonderful young man but we live in a crazy world and we don’t know from one moment until the next what is going to happen to us or to those we love. When that reality hits me hard that’s when I pull my heart back under the shelter of God’s wings because he does know. He knows what will happen today and tomorrow and he has promised that he will be there. He has not promised that we will be spared from pain but that he will be present in the pain. One of my favorite words is, refuge. I love it because when applied to our lives, Christ is our refuge in any storm large or small. He is our safe haven, our sanctuary. I have six more days of Christian’s camp to get through but you may have eighteen months of a son or husbands tour of duty to get through. If you are like me some days the load feels pretty light and you have a firm conviction that God is in control and watching out for those we love. But there are those other days, days when you are tired or discouraged and all the old fears come flooding back. What do you do on those days? This is what I do. I find a quiet place and in my mind I take Christian and I imagine that I am placing him right under the shelter of God’s wings. It’s hard to grasp on this side of heaven how held we are by the love of God if only we would lean back and find his wings are strong. I may have to imagine placing Christian there but the truth is that he is always there, I just have to remember. I pray today that you will know the peace of God, which passes our human grasp, and the love of Christ our Savior that would fill every space of doubt and fear.