This blog wants to be written and published for everyone to read. The past 5 days have been a rollercoaster, and we’re exhausted. The blog I spent time on earlier today tells the story; for now only to be shared with our closest loved ones. And here we are, late in the evening, in our hotel room, trying to read, with music chosen almost at random from what’s on the external hard drive. Sons of Korah. The album: Shelter. The selection: Psalm 127. The words: Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. I jokingly say to Marijke: the LORD has certainly given us lots of sleep in the past few days, hasn’t He? And then I am put in my place by the psalmist’s subsequent imagery. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children are a reward from Him… Like arrows in the hand… blessed is the man whose quiver is full… What an apt description: a quiver, a holder, a place for safekeeping. Not one of those precious arrows should be lost or sent off purposelessly. That’s what parents want and have and need to give their children. And what a blessing to experience the togetherness of children growing up with us as we live our lives as best we can. But the quiver is not just for safekeeping. Arrows are not just for bundling together. Arrows have a life of their own to live, a purpose for which they were kept safely. Not to be hoarded, but to be released with power and faith and confidence so that they will reach their goal. If nothing else comes out of our experience of the past days, it is the blessing of seeing God’s purpose working out in our children. We love them. We miss them, especially now. But we are also hugely proud of them and thankful for every single one of them. We are discovering that blessing in a special way right now, and we want that to be published. As widely as possible.