A dear friend of mine warned me that it would be more difficult than I thought. It was late July and he was referencing my preparation for my two eldest sons to leave for college. I knew immediately that his words were true because he is a man of good character and he had shared the experience with one of his own boys the previous summer.
Lori and I do miss our young men, but we do not regret their decisions to pursue education at new places. My dear wife traveled just shy of 8,000 miles during the first 2 weeks of August getting them settled into their new locations. She knew the first time she stepped onto the campus at Montana State in Bozeman that Ray would choose it as his final destination. Isn’t it funny how mothers sometimes know their boys better than they know themselves. Our oldest son and Montana were tailor-made for each other. When not in class, he is able to experience God’s creation and wide-open spaces like others cannot who refuse to venture outside the limits of a city.
Ray’s younger brother by one minute chose to go a different direction. Trace headed south to Mississippi State to experience the people and culture known simply as “the Delta”. It will afford him his own outdoor experiences and the big feel of the SEC. suits his personality just fine. Needless to say, my boys will find their own way and become men. Why then is it so difficult to let them go?
For their mother and I, the difficulty does not arise from simply letting our sons go. Fear comes from the world in which we have let them go into. We pray daily that Christ will watch over them, protect them, and help them make good choices. Our twin boys were born in 2001, just over a month before 9/11 rocked our nation. We still remember our anger toward world terror organizations intent on doing pure evil. Nineteen years later it appears political unrest and domestic terror groups are just as big a threat to the fabric that holds our nation together. As I watch Americans kill each other over differences of opinion, I am reminded of the words of my grandfather from over 40 years ago when he told me that our nation will destroy itself from within.
Times such as these make me thankful that my hope is not in any man. My pastor reminded me of the words above found in Jeremiah 17 a few weeks ago. I was quick to share them with my young men. Verse 5 starts by saying, “This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man.” Jeremiah brings us comfort in verse 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord”.
Try to imagine for a moment what our nation would look like if our two political sides, instead of protesting in anger against one another, would get down on their knees and pray together – first for forgiveness and then for God’s blessings. Remember, Jesus paid it all. He was pierced for our transgressions – each and every one of us. He wants to forgive us. He wants to bless us. Why do we make it so difficult? If you read this, I ask that you will make time to get on your knees today and pray to Christ. Thank Him for His blessings, then ask Him to watch over you, my boys, and our nation. For more comfort I encourage you to read Psalm 121.