Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

The Release of Children

Genesis 42:18-43:34 Jacob's first response to his sons' appeals to send Benjamin to Egypt as Joseph required was a definite no. He was not about to lose another son as he thought he had lost Joseph. Later in the passage we see Jacob's heart turn. Famine was once again a plague on the land where Jacob lived, and he knew the only way he could save his family was to meet the demands of the Egyptian leader to send Benjamin back with his brothers. He was willing to take the risk of never seeing Benjamin again if that was the only way he could save the rest of the family. Jacob says, "And God Almighty give you mercy before the man, that he may send away your other brother, and Benjamin. If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" (Gen. 43:14, KJV).

One of the hardest things a parent can face is the loss of a child. Jacob thought Joseph was dead, and now he faced the possibility of losing two more of his children—Benjamin and Simeon.

How can parents come to a place of releasing their children to the Lord? Only the Lord can work this in the hearts of parents as He did in my heart.

When my three sons were two, six and nine, I was faced with the tormenting fear that I would die young and leave my children. For two weeks this thought caused me to have sleepless nights. Finally one morning I asked the Lord, "Lord, where is this thought coming from? Is it from You, the devil or me?"

His response to this question was as follows: "So what if you did die young and leave your children without you? Do you believe I could take care of them as well as you, and I could fulfill My plans for their lives without your being on the scene?"

I was shocked by this answer I heard with my spiritual ears. Then I realized I truly had not released my children to the Lord. I still was possessive of them, and I needed to ask the Lord to forgive me for my lack of trust in Him. I prayed, "Lord, forgive me for not trusting You with my children. They are not my children. They are Your children, and You lent them to me. I give up my control and possession of them, and I trust You to keep them in Your hands always even if I leave this earth before they do."

On that day I felt as if I died, and I did. Yes, I died to the possession of my children, and now I am still alive and have lived to see all three sons married to wonderful wives. I am also the grandmother of blessings who have been lent by the Lord. The tormenting whisper I heard that said, "You're going to die young," was the devil because it struck fear in my heart. God, however, used what Satan meant for evil for good. When I totally surrendered my children, Satan lost. What we give to God, Satan will never ultimately possess.

READ: Genesis 42:18-43:34; Matthew 13:47-14:13; Psalm 18:16-34; Proverbs 4:7-10

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