We awoke to another tragedy this morning. Twenty-two people killed in a suicide attack at Manchester Arena in England. Children are among those killed, one girl only eight-years-old. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how someone could be so filled with hate as to bring about this type of devastation, especially when they target children.
My heart goes out to those parents who are suffering. I can’t imagine the anguish they must be going through.
As a parent, these tragedies remind me that at some point, when my son begins to venture out into the world on his own, I will no longer be able to protect him the way I can now. This thought then raises the questions, how does a parent let go? How does a parent allow their child to begin living life without sitting at home worrying constantly?
I have yet to come to this crossroad in my journey as a parent but the only answer that I have been able to come up with, based on my limited experience, is they don’t? A parent never completely let’s go and they never stop worrying.
As much as we may want to protect our children from all the dangers, perversion, and heartbreak of this world, we can’t. We can set boundaries that limit their exposure but we can never fully protect them.
For someone, like me, that has a natural inclination to be a worrier, this is a daunting thought. Just thinking about it causes my heart to race and my chest to tighten. It’s that all too familiar feeling of fear. But as Christians, we are not meant to fear. We are meant to put our hope and trust in Christ.
Scripture tells us in Psalm 56:3-4, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”
Fear is a natural and common reaction, especially in light of what our world is becoming. Things that we never could have imagined happening are now becoming commonplace. The worries of a parent are now tenfold.
As I learn to place my trust in God, I am reminded of his promise in Psalm 91:11, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” God is ever mindful of those He loves. As He cares for the sparrow, so too does He care for us and our children’s well-being.
When we can’t protect our children, we can have confidence that God watches out for them better than we ever could. I truly believe, that faith in this promise is the only way to survive the worry of parenthood. To be able to look past the terrible circumstances of this world and have peace as we raise our children.
For those parents that today are suffering the unimaginable, I express to you my deepest sympathy, knowing that I can never truly understand the anguish you feel. I pray that God brings you comfort and peace.