The Emotional Whirlwind of Parenting
When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. Exodus 2:3
I can think of few things that have changed my wife and me as much as becoming parents. We loved our children before they were born and loved them even more when we first held them. Our lives became wrapped up in theirs and as they’ve experienced joy, we’ve experienced joy. When they’ve struggled, we’ve struggled. Because we have so much invested in our children’s lives, parenting can be an emotional whirlwind as they experience highs and lows. We worry for them. We pray for them. We do what we can for them. As they grow, they will make healthy and unhealthy choices. Good and bad things will happen to them, much of which we cannot control. So, ultimately, we must leave them in God’s hands.
This is the lesson of today’s passage. In it, the Egyptian Pharaoh declared that all Israelite infant males be cast into the Nile River. The story tells how one Hebrew woman hid her son by making a basket, concealing him in the reeds of the river. The Pharaoh’s daughter happened to find him and take pity on him, naming him Moses. The infant’s older sister, watching from a distance, approached Pharaoh’s daughter, asking if she wanted a wet nurse. So, Moses’ own mother was paid to raise the child she thought she was going to lose. When Moses grew older, his mother had to say goodbye once again as he went to live with Pharaoh’s daughter.
Moses’ mother had to tremble in fear that her infant was going to be killed. Then, she must have rejoiced when he was saved. She must have been grateful to raise him. Then, she experienced loss again when she gave him up to Pharaoh’s daughter. Through it all, she relied on God. Though the passage doesn’t explicitly say it, there must have been some divine guidance to place him in the basket in the first place. She couldn’t save her child, so she relied on God, who worked out his will to place Moses in a position of great power so he could one day save his people. To his mother though, this was an emotional whirlwind and her only choice was to rely on God.
The lesson for us is that we too must rely on God for our children’s future. Like Moses’ mother, we must do what we can for them. We will pray. We will guide. We will experience highs and lows. Ultimately though, we must leave our children in God’s hands, trusting in his purpose, even when it doesn’t work out the way we think it should. Parenting is an emotional whirlwind. If we will though, we can daily choose to cling to the constant rock of God – our father and theirs.