On a recent trip to the Bahamas, we had the opportunity to swim with stingrays. These majestic creatures can reach fin spans of 6ft!
As we were interacting with the animals, I asked the guide what happens when a hurricane hits? You see, these stingrays were not in a tank— but in the ocean with only netting separating them from the vast expanse and dangers of the Atlantic Ocean.
The guide replied that in the event of a hurricane, they simply cut the nets and let the stingrays go. They swim away.
As I watched my daughter giggle and smile while she pet and snorkeled with the rays, I was reminded that one day she will swim off too. She will go and explore the world, head to college, make good and bad decisions. I’ll eventually have to cut the net and let her go free. My heart sank at the thought.
But here was the amazing thing.
The guide then continued saying the rays always come back. Why? Because this was their home where they were born, fed, protected, and loved.
And my heart began to lift. I knew this was probably how the father of the prodigal son felt (Luke 15:11-32).
When your child comes back from being away— how wonderful to embrace and kiss them again! (Luke 15:20)
But the key to this? Taking care of your child before they leave you.
If those stingrays are not fed and taken care of they won’t come back.
If the father had not loved the prodigal son unconditionally, before the son left, he would not have come back.
And so, I’m committed to continue making everyday count with my precious daughter. Showering her with Godly love and care will ensure that one day, after she decides to swim off, she will come back to me.