Our oldest daughter is a sophomore in college 2 states away, struggling physically right now with what was an undiagnosed illness. It made me realize how tightly I am holding in her in my clenched fist (metaphorically speaking, of course). It has also caused me to ask - as a parent, what does it look like to unclench my fist and give my child over into God’s loving hands?
Think of these 5 reminders as your five fingers slowly uncurling from your tightly closed fist as you open up your hand and truly trust God to take care of your loved one. Not just a child but a spouse, friend, relative – anyone you love and are holding tightly.
THUMB - God knew this person before they were born. Psalm 139:13 says, “You formed my inward parts; You wove me together in my mother’s womb.” He knew them before we did and He will spend eternity with them after they die. John 3:15 tells us that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
INDEX FINGER - God knows them more intimately than we do. Matthew 10:30 tells us he has numbered every hair on their head. Isaiah 49:12 tells us that He has inscribed them in the palm of his hand.
MIDDLE FINGER - God knows the pain of a parent. He sacrificed his only son for you, for me, and for our loved ones. John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.
RING FINGER - God has plans for our loved one. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
PINKY – Nothing escapes God’s notice. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." Proverbs 5:21 tells us the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He watches all his paths. And Proverbs 15:3 confirms that the eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good."
By the time our daughter got to Student Health, saw a nurse, and went back to see a doctor my imagination had run wild. I had already imagined her dropping out of school and coming home for major surgery and a long recovery. When in reality her symptoms are probably caused by sudden allergies. So two parting thoughts from my recent experience. We need to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, as we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5). The King James version of this verse says we need to "cast down imaginations." Certainly fitting in my case. And finally, we need to let the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7).
Precious Father – Forgive us when we struggle to open our fist and entrust our loved one to you. Help us to remember that you knew them before they were born, that you know them more intimately than we do and that you know the pain of a parent. Thank you that you have plans for our loved one and that nothing escapes your notice. Amen.