Monday, August 19, 2013

Kindergarten, College and the Keeper

I am a pool hawk.

Of course going to the pool with multiple small children will do that to you. 

During our vacation this summer I was alone with three of them at the pool. After a few days in the water, the older ones were getting more comfortable in the pool and I had relaxed… almost.  I sat on the side of the pool blowing up a float for my 2 year old while he played in the shallow area. It was only a few feet deep so my focus was on the older two as they swam. 

As the float got bigger I would look up every few minutes to make sure everyone was still up and kicking. Everything was fine until I realized I could not see my 2 year old. My heart was racing as I took two huge mama leaps to where he had been playing and found him flailing in the few feet of water unable to get his footing. I pulled him quickly to his feet and made sure he was ok. 

He had fallen behind a big boat in the toddler area of the pool, out of the view of the lifeguard. My mind filled with the what ifs. What if I had not been there…. What if I had not seen him right away….

Believing upon what is true, I was just thankful that I had been there and tried not to think about what might have happened if I weren’t while committing myself to be extra vigilant for the rest of our trip.

Only a few days after we came home, a knock on the door from a neighbor reminded me that I cannot depend upon myself alone to protect my children. My trust ultimately must be in the Lord. A stray arrow had shot into the yard where my children were playing only minutes earlier. Having come in the house because of a short summer rain shower, they were not out there as the arrow spanned the length of our yard and landed 2 inches deep in our wooden fence. Our neighbors were upset and knew what could have happened, promising to move the target. I however was taken aback and remembered I simply cannot be everywhere to protect my children. 

But my God, he never sleeps or slumbers. 

He is always there watching over them, keeping them.

Immediately my mind was filled with Psalm 121. I had spent some time studying it recently as I wrote about the Lord being our helper from the first few verses. But I remembered the rest of the Psalm and that the word “keep”, translated keep, protect and guard, is repeated 6 times. 

It was just I needed to remember as I fought off the motherly desire to keep my kids in our house forever and ever. AMEN. And AMEN.

He is watching over me and keeping me. He is watching over them and keeping them.

This is a tough week for a lot of mamas, as with joy and sadness, many of our little babies are not babies anymore. They let go of our hands and walk out into the world.

They head off by themselves for their first golf lesson, no longer timid and afraid.

They head off to kindergarten, excited about a new chapter of their lives. 

They head off to college, no longer under your watchful love and care.

They get married and move away, starting a new family. 

They follow the Lord’s call on their lives to move around the world for the sake of the gospel.

With mixed emotions, we mamas sit by and watch them walk away. So proud, so excited for them and yet wanting to run and pull them back and keep them forever under our wings. 

I won’t pretend these moments are easy for any of us, but I do hope in the midst of them that Psalm 121 rings in your heart. For years this Psalm, called the Traveler's Song by the Scottish, was sung and prayed as many departed on long journeys. 

As our children travel off, whether down the road, to another state or across the world, I pray these promises of God's keeping would sink deep into your heart and hold you tight as you let go.

Psalm 121
I will lift my eyes to the mountains, from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep.
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
He will guard your going out and coming in from this time forth and forever.

There is so much to say about this Psalm but Charles Spurgeon says it best:
"What a glorious title is in the Hebrew -- "The keeper of Israel," and how delightful to think that no form of unconsciousness ever steals over him, neither the deep slumber nor the lighter sleep. He will never suffer the house to be broken up by the silent thief; he is ever on the watch, and speedily perceives every intruder…. The word "keepeth" is also full of meaning: he keeps us as a rich man keeps his treasures, as a captain keeps a city with a garrison, as a royal guard keeps his monarch's head…. Happy are the pilgrims to whom this psalm is a safe conduct; they may journey all the way to the celestial city without fear." (The Treasury of David Psalm 121:4)

So as our little children(and the not so little ones) let go and walk wherever the Lord may lead them, let us again entrust them to the Lord as we dwell upon this Psalm and the One who keeps them.


  1. You speak to my heart-- thank you for encouraging me with truth! I just printed out Psalm 121 to take with me tomorrow. Kerah

  2. So true, Katie. Thank you for this reminder!