First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. . . . I remember you in my prayers at all times. (Rom. 1:8–10)

THIS TIME OF YEAR, parents and grandparents are sending their kids off to school. Letting go is a tough thing. Not having them under our consent influence and watch is stressful. However, it is a necessary part of maturity, for both kids and their elders!

Even though he was often very far away, Paul lovingly encouraged his congregations, guided them, corrected them and prayed for them. By God’s grace, we know this because his letters have been preserved. Centuries later, his writings still lead people to a deeper knowledge of God’s love. They encourage us to serve our Lord in the way He has called us. May they also inspire families of growing children to allow them the freedom to discover their calling as well.

The faithful in Rome and elsewhere must have been bolstered by Paul’s thankfulness and constant prayers. Those we love today can be as well. As often as we can, whether they live in the next room or across the world, we should tell our loved ones we are thankful they are in our lives and that we are praying for them. That gives us the freedom to let them go and live their lives as God calls them to do, knowing we have placed them in the best hands—those nail-scarred out of love. Then we can be comforted that He is watching out for them even if we cannot.

If the Holy Spirit places someone on your heart, take time to pray and thank God for them.

Julie B. Cosgrove is an award-winning, multi-published author who regularly writes for several devotional websites and publications.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.