When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” (John 21:15)

THE EMPTY-NEST SITUATION confronts almost all parents eventually. When the last son or daughter moves away from home, Mom and Dad find themselves alone and contemplative. They recall what life was like when the kids were growing up, and they wonder what life will be like in the empty nest.

After raising two daughters and a son in Colorado, it seemed my wife and I would experience the trauma of an empty nest. But our children would not be leaving home; we would be. The company I worked for was experiencing economic freefall when a successful company in Chicago offered me a job. It seemed clear that the Lord was calling me from Colorado to the Windy City, but was I willing to separate my wife and myself from our young adult children?

The move would also separate us from many friends and the little congregation I had served on a part-time basis for more than six years. Furthermore, we didn’t know anyone in Chicago. Jesus’ question to Simon Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” burned in my mind and heart. Did I love Jesus more than my Colorado friends? More than even my children? Only love for Jesus constrained me to finalize the move.

Surely your love for Jesus will be tested too, but if it is genuine, nothing will weaken or destroy it.

Search your heart for unworthy objects of your love, and offer Jesus your purest, deepest love.

Jim Dyet and his wife, Gloria, have been married fifty-five years. They live in Colorado Springs, where Jim enjoys golf and daily walks with his three small dogs.