We are always being prepared to “let” our children go into the mission field. It seems like a big sacrifice, “Yes, Lord, please use our children for your kingdom!”
Looking back its pretty self-righteous! How presumptuous! There is no knowing how God intends to use the children he places in our care, and there is no “let” involved with grown children.
I’ve recently come to know Jochebed. Her mother story is truly epic! What a long-suffering, patient story. If you know the name at all, it’s probably more to do with her faith than patience. But for me, it’s the patience that’s striking. Who is she?
She’s the mother of Moses.
She was strong in faith for sure. She most likely could have been killed for putting that baby boy in the basket to try to save him. She had to be concerned she’d sent him to his death herself. But its pretty clear she knew God had a plan for him and she acted on that promise. Immediately, she was rewarded. You know the story – the princess saves the baby, Jochebed even gets hired to nurse him, and instead of being killed, he’s raised in the palace. Indications are both she and Moses knew he would someday save the Hebrews from bondage. They knew that he was a covenant child. They knew God had formed him with a future and a hope.
So…things were looking good. They were doing everything right. The boy was safe; the future was bright for him to do great things for his people. Taking over from within maybe?
Time passes. A lot of time passes. Forty years pass. What’s he doing? Where’s the rescue. What’s the plan? One day (still living like a prince) he’s tired of seeing the injustice to his people and decides it’s time to act. No consultation with God. No consultation with wise counselors. No consultation with anyone. He seems at this point to be pretty sure of himself and really…he’s a prince of Egypt…he’s got this!
He jumps out there and takes action, killing an Egyptian to save a Hebrew, he hides the body. When he’s found out, he gets scared of both sides and flees town.
Forty more years!! Yes, he flees and is gone forty more years. Here is where I’m thinking of his mother’s patience. This is when she thought “Putting him in the river was the easy part!” She had to have been so sure on that day she was hired to nurse him that God was going to do mighty things with her son for the Hebrews. I’m sure those childhood years were full of relief and hope at his salvation. His twenties must have gone by with wonder at when he would act. Then in his thirties she might have started questioning if she understood God all those years ago. But with her great faith, she’s hopefully hanging in there – waiting. But then, instead of mighty works, he’s a murderer on the run! He’s in hiding and she is still in slavery. She doesn’t hear from him for forty years! He’s abandoned them.
Yes, he’s 80 years old when he gets about the task she had so hoped for when she placed him in that basket! How many times did she question? How many times did she wonder if she misunderstood God’s promise? Did she wonder if God would keep his promise? Did she even live to see the day the promise was realized? How many times did she pray?
God used Moses His way – Not Jochebed’s way or Moses’ way. When we are blessed to raise children for God’s kingdom, we have to trust God with them even when He uses them in ways we didn’t expect. We must not loose hope or faith when they wander past our patience or outside our expectations. We must pray for our children and recall to God His promises. God’s promises are true and He is faithful!
Isaiah 49:25 For thus says the Lord:
“Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued, for I will contend with those who contend with you, and I will save your children.”