TO PARENTS OF MISSIONARIES
(1 Sam 1:27-28) For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.
So, your child comes to you and says he feels called to the mission field. You stare for a while and then you ask the question where he feels inclined to go. He tells you some far-off place that maybe you haven’t even heard of before. Then he goes into detail about how he was spoken to by the Spirit and about the need for Christ in this place and on and on and on. When he finishes you hear crickets in the room. You say that’s wonderful while you feel the lump in your throat. My son or daughter is off to the mission field. Wow, that’s great. Or is it?
As parents we love our kids to death. We have sacrificed for them since they were born. We raised them to be responsible and gave them all the tools they needed for successful living. We spent good money and a lot time securing their future. We counseled them wisely. We hope they will make good decisions and achieve in their chosen field. Then they come and say they want to serve the Lord as a missionary. Not only do we become concerned about their safety, we also begin thinking about family ramifications. You won’t see your child for a long time. You will miss them. You won’t see the grandkids if they are a family. What about holidays and birthdays and special events? It starts to hit you like a ton of bricks emotionally.
Samuel had a special calling on his life. His mother Hannah prayed for a son after being barren for so long. She said if God gave her her request, she would dedicate her son for life to God’s work. Finally, God answered her prayer and she was good to her promise. When it was time, she presented Samuel to the Lord at the Temple. She then went home without her son, but she visited him yearly and with the new cloths she would make for him.
You know, as parents we are so proud when our children achieve greatness on any level. Parents can be so gratified to say their child is a doctor, a lawyer, or a soldier serving in the armed forces. But what about the highest calling a child may receive . . . that of serving the Lord in the ministry? To give spiritual life to others (doctor). To be an advocate for the poor and needy and the marginalized (lawyer). To be a soldier in the Lord’s army. And with modern technology you can keep in communication on a daily basis. And between traveling to see your child on the mission field and them coming home for a visit, it’s just not as hard as it used to be.
We can be a help or a hindrance to the call of God on our child’s life. Let’s line up with God’s purposes and be a support to our children when they involve themselves in the greatest business of all . . . God’s business! (Luke 2:49) . . . Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”