Graduate 2018 / by Matthew McDill
It will be a proud and humble moment this spring as parents and their high school graduates celebrate an important milestone in life. How can a moment be both proud and humble? If you are a parent of a graduate, I bet you already know.
We are proud of our children. We are proud of the work they have done and the things they have accomplished. We are humbled that we made it this far. There were so many tears and fears and struggles. We are thankful to God for His help and faithfulness.
How can we best celebrate this important moment? How can we mark it with the right kind of emphasis that will launch our children toward all that God has for them? Here is a simple and profound way to do that—by remembering, declaring, and celebrating the wonderful fact that we can trust in the Lord.
As we graduate our children, it is often a time of remembrance, a time of making decisions, and a time of looking to the future. That is why it is so important to know that we can trust in the Lord with the past, present, and future of our children—and so can they!
Why would we need to trust Lord with our past? Well, if you are like me, when you look at the past, some of the things you see are mistakes. Sometimes, mistakes nag at me and cause me to wonder what kind of impact they have had or will have on my children. What can I do about those concerns? First of all, if I have made mistakes, or even said or done things that hurt my children, then I should simply acknowledge what I have done, receive the forgiveness of God, and ask for forgiveness from my children. Then I give the past to the Lord. I trust it to Him. I trust that God can work to bring healing and correction to past mistakes. God is very good at taking broken people and situations and bringing hope and abundant life out of them!
We can also trust the Lord with the present. Maybe your graduate is still working out post graduation plans. If there are questions about work, money, places to live, study tracks, and friends, we can trust the Lord with them. Your children can trust the Lord by surrendering their lives to His purposes and leadership. When they are serving God, they can be sure that He will provide the guidance and provision necessary to carry out His plans! Continue to encourage your children and emphasize the importance of surrendering and trusting in Him during this important time of decision making.
Finally, we can trust God with our children’s future. When we look down the road and see additional education or a career, marriage and children, ministry and all the challenges of life, we can trust the Lord. More importantly, our children can trust the Lord. Again, the greatest message you can give your children (again and again) as they consider their life plans, is that they can trust the Lord! This, of course, means surrendering their plans to Him and letting Him lead and provide at every turn.
What about us as parents? We also can trust God with our children’s future. Does that mean everything will turn out wonderfully. Not likely. They will make mistakes and face difficulties, just as we have. Then how do we trust the Lord?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We can be free from anxiety, not because we have all the answers or because we know nothing bad will happen. We can have peace that surpasses all understanding because we know that our Father, who loves us and our children more than we can even understand, has our good in mind and is listening to our prayers.
May you and your family have a wonderful time of celebration, free of guilt and anxiety, free to rejoice in the goodness of God in this proud and humble moment. Celebrate and remind each other that we can trust the Lord with our past, our present, and our future!