My only daughter is leaving in a little over 2 weeks to go on the mission field for a minimum of two years to a nation that is very hostile to the gospel, where there can be severe consequences for sharing Jesus’ love. Many people have asked me, “How can you let her go?” and “How are you holding up?” Or, they have assumed that I am a ‘basket case’ and distraught about her going. As the youngest of my four children and the only girl, she and I share a very special relationship and I can tell you that I am going to miss her. VERY, VERY MUCH!!! It will be difficult to be apart, not only because I will miss having face-to-face conversations with her, but also because our phone contact will be limited due to our different time zones and busy schedules, and our ability to openly communicate via text and email will be restricted due to security reasons. Despite where she is going, how long she’ll be away, and the fact that I will miss her, I want to testify that God has given me His perfect peace that surpasses all human understanding. (Philippians 4:7) I want to share with you why that is.
· I have known since she was conceived that first and foremost she is the ‘Lord’s daughter’ before she ever became mine; He not only created her, He also bought her with the price of His precious blood and He has entrusted her to me and my husband to raise her in the 'fear and admonition of the Lord' and for His pleasure and glory. It is to His glory that she honor and serve Him by sharing His love with others. (1st Corinthians 6:20; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Isaiah 43:7-9)
· If we love God—which she and I most definitely do—we demonstrate our love for the Lord by obeying Him. (John 14:15) If we want to be Jesus’ disciple, we must be willing to do as Jesus did—‘lay down’-- or ‘surrender’ our will to the will of Our Heavenly Father. (Luke 9:23) And His command and will for all of us is to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES in all nations. (Matthew 28:19) I demonstrate my love for Him by being willing to ‘offer up’ the daughter He has entrusted to me, knowing that He loves her even more than I do, and that WHATEVER He asks of her—as well as of me as her parent in ‘letting go’ of her—is ALWAYS and ONLY for our good and for the glory of His Name! (Romans 8:28)
· Yes, Jesus is worthy of her and our obedience! And, the souls of those with whom she will share the good news of the gospel are also worthy of her giving up her time... and even her life. Jesus came to earth to ‘seek and to save the lost’, and as His followers, we are called to do likewise. (Luke 19:10) Every day 66,000 people die who have not had the opportunity to hear about Jesus and His life-transforming love for them. God’s heart breaks for them—and ours ought to as well. How can we who know Jesus not hurt for and have compassion upon those who have never heard of the forgiveness, hope, truth and love that is found in Christ alone? The truth that His love can set them free from the power of sin in their lives and the penalty of sin, which is eternal death and damnation. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
· I know that she will be living a truly meaningful life, investing her time, energy and resources in what is eternal--developing intimacy with Jesus and sharing His love with others—an investment that cannot be taken away from her and for which she will reap the benefits for all eternity. In contrast, a meaningless life is living for the things of this world that will rust, rot and burn and cannot enter with us into heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21) I know she will be blessed over the next several years with the intimate Presence of the Lord and the sure knowledge that she is doing His will by sharing His love with others; I also know that life on earth is brief and that we are all eternal beings. Great will be her reward on earth, and even greater will be her reward in Heaven for all eternity! And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29 ESV
· I keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus, Who is worthy of her—and my-- ‘all and everything’! I know that although I will not be able to be with her physically, that Jesus ‘will never leave her or forsake her’. I know that no matter where she is and wherever she goes that she will NEVER be alone; she will ALWAYS have Jesus beside her, Who is a Warrior and FAR better protector than I—and He alone loves her with an ‘unfailing love’. (Hebrews 13:5: Isaiah 54:10; Psalm 36:5-7; Zephaniah 3:17)
God is Love…Love never fails…therefore God CANNOT fail her!!! (1st John 4:8; 1st Corinthians 13: 8) I am trusting my beloved daughter into the hands of her Heavenly Father Who is her Creator, the Sovereign Lord over all of the earth, Who is ALWAYS with her, and Who can never do anything that is not ultimately for her good! I know that NOTHING and NO ONE can thwart God’s will and that not even a hair on her head can be touched without Him allowing it to happen…and if He allows it, it is for her good and the glory of His Name! If she is persecuted for her faith—even unto death, I trust that God will continue to grant me His peace because I find my hope and rest in His Word-- which is truth—and He says that, Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 ESV) She and I also believe, as Paul stated, that ‘to live is Christ and to die is gain’ if we have truly surrendered our lives to Our Savior and Lord Jesus. (Philippians 1:21) May her life--and all of our lives-- bring Jesus the honor and glory that He is due, for He is worthy of everything, including our laying down our very lives, as he so lovingly did for us!
Written by Julie Van Gorp