When Jessica was two-years-old and away for long visits it was very difficult to see her empty booster seat at the dinner table. I remember well the heartbreak of her empty chair.
I had a number of scriptures written on index cards that I kept in a drawer of miscellaneous paper notes. One day I placed the drawer on my dining room table and was digging through it. Dinner time neared and I cleared the papers and drawer from the table. Our family sat down to eat and I sadly glanced at Jessica’s empty chair. I noticed a paper lying on her booster seat. It was an index card, facing up, with a scripture verse written on it in my handwriting.
I was taken back by the verse that appeared in her seat: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple”. Luke 14:33 Whoa! God was reminding me that she was ultimately not mine, but His. Our children are good gifts, but they are ultimately on loan. They belong to Him and come what may, I will continue to serve Him. There will come a time for all parents that we no longer have control over our children and any control over our children that we think we have may just be an illusion.
In retrospect, it feels like taking Jessica to House of Hope and leaving her there was giving her back to Him. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and at the same time a great relief. Because we did what He showed us to do, He is doing a great and mighty work in her life. The Cost of Being a Disciple that Jesus speaks about in Luke chapter 14 requires us to be obedient to make really difficult decisions. Sometimes it requires us to let go of those we love the most and to trust Him at a much deeper level than ever before.
The Cost of Being a Disciple requires us to trust His will and ways above our own. The ultimate challenge of trust for me involves my family. As the song Oceans bravely says, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, Let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Selah. . .