When reading in Acts 21 this morning, I saw that Christians whom the Apostle Paul had visited on his way to Jerusalem warned him not to go there. This was so, because the Holy Spirit had revealed to these Christians that Paul would be imprisoned in Jerusalem. These warnings were not only revealed to the Christians in Tyre, but also in Caesarea as well. In both cities it was revealed to Paul that his imprisonment would definitely take place if he visited Jerusalem.
Obviously this made Paul’s decision that much harder to make, “Do I save myself and do what my friends want me to do and not carry out God’s plan, or do I go through with God’s destiny for me?” For Paul, it only solidified his decision to go where God was calling him, even if it meant imprisonment, or for that matter, death. The decision was ultimately Paul’s to make, and his friends knew that, even though they saw a different direction they themselves would go if in Paul’s place.
Why then even when his friends saw God’s destiny for Paul did they not want him to go? I believe, feelings of love and compassion were ruling their hearts; they wanted to save Paul all the suffering that was awaiting him and they did not want to lose him. I think that it is much the same for us as parents as well. We want to spare our children suffering and pain over the potential dangerous and/or not so thought out choices they sometimes plan to make.We though as parents realize that their choices are what they must indeed make for themselves alone. At times, the harder we try to dissuade them from the direction they are heading, the more they go against us. It is not that they want to make bad choices, but they desire to make the decisions for themselves. Loving them is a process of letting go and allowing our loved ones to venture out and discover for themselves life and all its many directions that it may take them. Being a source of council when they ask for it, and loving them in spite of our difference of opinions is sometimes difficult to say the least, but we must trust God to protect them and for him to carry out his plan for their lives, as he sees fit. Ironically God sees us the same way that we see our children, with love, total acceptance and always allowing us to make our own decisions, but always being there for us when we call on him for directions, advice and unconditional love.