I am deeply saddened this morning. Friends of ours lost one of their teenage sons in an auto accident last night. I know that the community will rally around this well-loved family, but only God and time can heal such broken hearts. As parents, we aim the arrows. We do what we can to set our children in the right direction. We attempt to live lives they should imitate. We attempt to teach them right from wrong. We instruct them in the truths about Christ and provide them with opportunities to hear about God from others (church, AWANA, VBS, etc.). We pray for them. In short, we do just about everything we can to equip them for life. But the length of that life is completely out of our hands. Our birth and our death remain events which are thoroughly in the hands of God. As I write this, I am the father of four relatively happy and healthy children. Although I am far from being a perfect parent, I am striving to move my children in the proper direction. I am aiming the arrows. When I release the bow string, they will fly. In a sense, our friends did not have the opportunity to truly release the string with their son. That hurts. Apart from losing a spouse, can anything be worse than losing a child? I speak theoretically. Deep pain is deep pain. I trust that I, too, will experience deep pain in relation to my family (deeper than than losing an elderly parent). But I cannot allow the potential of future grief to hinder me in my quest to prepare my arrows for life “in the big world out there.” If you have children, hug one today (even if that hug has to be shared electronically). Do what you can to aim the arrows (kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc.) today. Even though God is sovereign over the length of their flight, He very much wants us to set the direction!
Aiming the Arrows: Direction and Length