Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. (Acts 14:23)

ON HIS FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN, I watched my son’s small frame carrying his huge backpack ascend the bus steps and heard the door screech closed behind him. The bus swallowed him whole and sped away from me. He was out of my hands for the first time in his little life.

Once I remembered he was in God’s hands experiencing His protection and guidance, I took a deep breath and saw the day as an opportunity to display my trust in Him.

I imagine Paul and Barnabas felt the same way when they sailed away from the men, women, boys, and girls who had so recently trusted in Christ as their Savior. As the boat pulled away from the dock, Paul and Barnabas may have looked back at these new believers. The missionaries’ hearts may have longed to guide and protect them so they could flourish into maturity. Instead, Paul and Barnabas committed these new converts to the Lord. It was in Him that they had put their trust, and He would guide and direct them.

The same is true of the believers in our lives. Our oversight does not provide the power behind their growth or protection. The Lord has promised “that He who began a good work in [them] will carry it on to completion” (Phil. 1:6). It’s His power and control that brings growth, not ours.

Give your loved ones into God’s hands.

Rachel Schmoyer is a mom of four and pastor’s wife who enjoys cooking from scratch with ingredients from a local organic farm.