In the Christian faith, Easter is the crescendo of our year. It’s our Super Bowl. The day that makes it all worth it. It’s the time that marks the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The day He burst forth from the tomb and conquered death. But this past spring, as I sat in church after Easter yet still meditating on those days of old, a thought entered my mind: It’s over now. Jesus had been reunited with the Father. The disciples were on their own. The Bible gives us an account of what the disciples were thinking and doing after Jesus ascended into heaven, but what was the Lord thinking? Was he watching over them, wondering, ‘Was it enough? Did they get it? Did I teach them everything they needed to know to do this on their own?’ As these thoughts continued to run through my mind, I couldn’t help but make the connection to the thoughts we often feel as parents embarking on the next phase of our child’s life. ‘Did I teach him enough? Did we spend enough time together? Was she listening?’
The realization I had that day that Jesus truly and fully does know what we feel as parents was overwhelming. When he said goodbye to His disciples, He was putting the basket in the water and trusting both the plan of the Father and the direction of the Spirit.
So what does it mean to put the basket in the water? Back in the time of Moses, Pharaoh felt threatened by the Israelites and ordered all the midwives to kill any baby boys born to the Israelite people by drowning them in the Nile River. But Moses’ mother wouldn’t have it. She hid him as long as she could, and when she could no longer hide him, she put him in a basket and put the basket in the water among the reeds of the Nile. The very river that could have drowned him was now his refuge. She had no idea what would happen to her baby, but she trusted the plan of the Father. As we know, baby Moses was drawn out of the water and would one day grow to become one of the greatest heroes of the Bible – the one who would rescue God’s people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land.
Here’s what we can learn from this as parents: There comes a time – many times, actually – in the lives of our children where we have to put the basket in the water. We have to let go and trust the plan of the Father. The world is a scary place – a place where we fear our children could drown. But we must remember that we have to let go so that God can draw them from the waters for His great purpose. He has called us to be their parents, but they were His first. (For more on this, see 3 Ways to Stop Worrying About Your Children.)
After Jesus ascended into heaven, he was no longer human. He had been fully reconciled to the Father and wasn’t experiencing human emotions and doubts anymore. He obviously wasn’t questioning if He had done enough for His children during His time with them. But how? Before Jesus left His disciples for the last time, he gave them one final instruction; we call it the Great Commission. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” One last shot at being sure they knew what they needed to do. But that’s not the end. He closes His parting salutation with this, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) They might not be together physically anymore, but He would always be with them, always watching, always petitioning the heart of the Father on their behalf. And He was leaving the Spirit with them – a Helper for them, who would continue to teach them and help them remember all He had said. (John 14:26)
My friend, whatever water you may be getting ready to put your basket into – whether your days as a stay-at-home-mom are ending as your child starts preschool soon or if your baby has grown into a high school graduate and is getting ready to leave your home – remember that you have to put them in the water for God to draw them out and place them into His perfect plan. Though you might not be physically present with your child as much during the next phase of life, you can always petition the heart of the Father on their behalf. And when you do this, that same Spirit that Jesus left with His disciples – that same Helper – intercedes for you, and in that you can find peace. After all, you’re entrusting your child to the same One with whom Jesus entrusted His disciples. You’re directly following the example set by Jesus. Job well done, friend.