"Jenna, wake up. It's time to go to school."

She will hear those words a thousand times in her life. But she heard them for the first time this morning.

I sat on the edge of her bed for a while before I said them to her. To tell the truth, I didn't want to say them. I didn't want to wake her. As I sat in the silence, I realized that my words would awaken her to a new world.

For four lightning-fast years she'd been ours, and ours alone. And now that was all going to change.

I didn't want to wake her up because I didn't want to give her up.

But I woke her anyway. I interrupted her childhood with the inevitable proclamation, "Jenna, wake up.... It's time to go to school."

I knew it was time. I knew it was right. And I knew she would be fine. I gave her up as much as I could today.

Today's events took it from black-and-white theology to Technicolor reality.

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31, 32)

I was releasing Jenna into a safe environment with a compassionate teacher who stood ready to wipe away any tears. You, Father, released Jesus into a hostile arena with a cruel soldier who turned the back of your son into raw meat.

I gave up my child fully aware that were she to need me I would be at her side in a heartbeat. You said good-bye to your son fully aware that when he would need you the most, when his cry of despair would roar through the heavens, you would sit in silence. The angels, though positioned, would hear no command from you. Your son, though in anguish, would feel no comfort from your hands.

Before the day was over, I sat in silence a second time. This time not beside my daughter, but before my Father. This time not sad over what I had to give, but grateful for what I'd already received--living proof that God does care.

From Six Hours One Friday; Copyright 2004 Max Lucado.
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