By Art Fulks –
This year we experienced our oldest flying from the nest. After graduating he left for a one-year missionary tour. He graduated on Thursday, then left to meet his new team on Friday. His three siblings turned his bedroom into a TV room almost before he was out of the driveway. But with the deluge of activities, I’m not sure that my wife and I really felt the impact until sometime later.
Friends of ours watched both their twins graduate high school this year as well. This fall, they left for college in separate directions, one to the north and the other south. Although we still have three kids at home, their sudden “empty nest” status helped me realize that our time will not be that far away.
We have certainly been blessed with four great kids. The Bible is true when it says, “Children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3a, NASB). But with our first leaving, I was reminded that our job and calling is not to raise children, but rather to raise adults who know God personally and passionately pursue His purpose for their lives.
Psalm 127 continues by saying, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (v. 4-5a, NASB). But the purpose of an arrow is not to hold it. Some need to be shot a far distance, while others close by. But the purpose of an arrow is never to stay in the quiver—unfired.
In thinking about unfired arrows, I realized that they have a few potential outcomes:
1) they rust and become useless; 2) the person holding them too tightly is injured by his own arrow; or 3) the person holding them becomes useless or gets shot by the enemy because of their unwillingness to engage in the battle. In contrast, a well-prepared and strategically shot arrow is a blessing as the invisible (but so very real) hand of the Almighty guides what our imperfect efforts have launched. And this wonderful child we have been allowed to mold and carry in our quiver becomes a beautiful and effective tool in the hands of our God.
PRAYER: Dear Father, Who molds my life, would You help me to effectively and lovingly shape the life of my children as long as they are entrusted to my stewardship? Give me the faith and courage to launch them into Your worthy service for the glory of the One whom You sent to die for us, Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Today’s devotional is by Art Fulks, a church planter / pastor at Connection Fellowship in Greenville, South Carolina. Married for 22 years and father of four, Art is a graduate of The Ohio State Univeristy and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a passionate Bible teacher, speaker, musician, worship leader, and life coach. Read more at http://www.connectionfellowship.org or http://artfulks.blogspot.com