"...entrusted to your care."
"Timothy, keep safe what has been entrusted to your care." (I Timothy 6:20)
A few minutes ago I witnessed a very important moment in the lives of several children and their parents. I was standing at the door of our church's preschool, greeting the families as the children arrived for their very first day of the new school year. Some of the children went bursting into the classrooms with joyous expectation while others shuffled hesitantly some, very reluctantly. What struck me as so important this morning was not so much the reactions of the children, but rather, that moment when the parents had to let go of their child's hand thus entrusting the teacher with the care of their child. The child drops the hand of their parent and reaches for the hand of this new teacher who is about to give them a tour of their new classroom and help them with the next step in their life journey. What a significant moment - a parent letting go of their child and entrusting another adult with their care. It's a difficult but very important stage in the life of the child. It requires courage and trust on the part of the parent, as well as steadfastness and trustworthiness on the part of the adult to whom the child is being entrusted.
As I began to ponder what I observed this morning I was taken back to this picture I took last Wednesday afternoon near Frederick, Maryland. Patti and I were in the area to give a teen depression seminar. I guess I was drawn to the picture by the notion of "entrusting." God entrusts us with so much when we're given relationships with others. Imagine, God entrusts us with the life of a child and others we love. In a sense, God allows that other to take our hand and walk this life journey with us. What an amazing experience we share together, full of joy, hopes, and dreams, as well as sadness and disappointment. Together we live through it all, our lives all the while being enriched because we do it together.
However, there comes a time in all our lives when we are called upon to give that loved one back to God. Instead of God walking to the door of the preschool and entrusting them to our care, we are the ones walking to the door of heaven and entrusting God with their eternal care. We can entrust our loved one to God because we have experienced the steadfastness and trustworthiness of God's love throughout our lives. The tombstones around the church in the picture reminded me of this act of entrusting those we love back into the loving arms of God. I like that image of letting go of a dying loved ones hand and allowing them to reach for the hand of God who is waiting to give them the tour of their new classroom. I give thanks to God for the image and pray that God will give me the faith to entrust those I love to God's steadfast, eternal love. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
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"...entrusted to your care."