Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hard Lessons to Learn

Today I took my boys to their first official stroke class for swim team.  My oldest son, Matt, was able to keep up fairly well with the class even without fins.  Unfortunately my youngest, Jake, was a little over his head.  For about 30 minutes, I had to watch him try his best but his best just wasn't enough to handle the lesson.  Since we just signed up the day before neither boy had fins- this caused them to trail behind the group for most of the class.  Not a bad lesson for my "over-confident at times" Matt but for Jake, who could benefit from stealing a little confidence from his brother, he ended with hidden tears. 

As their mother (that's me!) I know that a little hard work is good- everything won't be easy, sometimes we won't like what we have to do.  Lessons learned like this when we are young make it much easier to digest life as we get older.  BUT how much I HATED watching Jake go through this struggle.

Oh, how much more did God hate to discipline Moses after his disobedience at the waters of Meribah (Numbers 20).  I am sure God sat by watching the whole scene transpire, hoping that Moses would not strike the rock, though knowing the whole time that He would.

I wonder what God's tone was like when He said "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." (Numbers 20:12) 

Was He angry?  Was He stern-faced & finger-pointing?

Or was He sad, disappointed for Moses as much as with Moses?

The scripture doesn't give us tone and inflection but I do know the heart & character of God- I bet He was disappointed that He had to discipline Moses for this disobedient act.  He loved Moses, called Him His friend but God also trust Moses with LOTSLuke 12:48 says "From everyone who has been given much, much more will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." 

Scripture also says "my son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." (Proverbs 3:11-12) Just like we discipline our children when they are disobedient, God disciplines His children as well.  Discipline is a symbol of love though the one receiving it doesn't always see it as such.  This is one way that God demonstrates His love for us- sometimes we need that "love pat" to get us back on track.  Hebrews 12:10-11 says "our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." 

Moses' disobedience halted his journey into the Promised Land.  God had a younger man in mind for the job- Moses' young apprentice, Joshua.  God did show Moses the Promised Land from a private seat atop of Mount Nebo.  On the mountain top, God sat beside his sweet friend and showed all the land that would belong to the nation of Israel.  I wonder if He pointed out Jericho and said "they are going to have to march around that city 7 times then I'm gonna knock those walls down" or showed Moses the city of Jerusalem and said "someday the wilderness tabernacle will be a glorious temple in that city".  Only God and Moses knows what was talked about that day but I have to think that they shared precious moments recalling the many times that Moses had been faithful and trusted God. 

As for my story, we will go back to stroke class WITH FINS- thanks, Angela!  There might be more tears and frustration but hard work builds character.  Also I don't want them to end up swimming like their momma- someday they might want to compete in triathlons and I would hate for them to struggle with swimming like I do. 

Three tris completed- swam the first on my back, the second with back & breast, and the third with mostly free!



  1. Love this post and your thoughts about it all. Great insights x

    1. Thanks- it was fun writing it. Glad you stopped by!

  2. Thank you for sharing Jenny! Connor really struggled this year with all of the sprints in basketball at the end of practice he was often crying. At first I wanted to hold him back from the struggle but then I thought he needs to go through this as he will only become stronger. Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Nicki. Parenting is so hard- I felt so conflicted yesterday. We went back today & Jake did great (with fins). We have to let them struggle under our care so it won't be as hard when they are off on their own. Thx for reading- hope you are all doing well!