He has made everything beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11)

The first one leaving home was the hardest. Unknotting the tie and letting Frances fly off to start university was always going to leave a void. She had been part of home for so long and now her room was empty. The second one was a bit easier; Andrew was off to join his sister so that softened the blow a bit. But we missed his cheeky smile! By the time it came for the third one to leave, we had become veterans of this inevitable exodus. Shortly after saying goodbye to Sarah at her boarding school, we hopped on a flight headed in the other direction to tour the Holy Land. It wasn’t that we missed her less, just that we had learned to cope much better, that’s all.

Now the house is quiet and the rooms bear fading traces of their last occupants. Our last one flew the nest two years ago. This week she starts college. Time flies! Here’s what I learnt in the midst of an emptying nest. If we live for the children alone, we will ultimately be left with a nagging void that leads us into purposelessness. We cannot live that way! God gives kids to us for us to steward. They are meant to fade from our daily lives in due time, in order to start their own lives. Live for the one unchanging cause. Live for Jesus! Cultivate intimacy with Him, learn to follow His leading and you will never experience a middle age crisis! You will never be left seeking other reasons to live after the kids have left home. You will never waste your life! 

I have found this to be true. If you have lived for the Lord, then as the nest empties it only fills up the next phase of your life. You begin to take off into a different level of impact and influence. Now time is no longer a constraint; the wisdom and influence you have acquired from serving Him and others now come into the fore. You have more resources to give. Physical energy glides on the wings of spiritual power. What was empty becomes filled again. And a second life of the new birth begins!

Ps Dr Philip Lyn


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