Daily Life, Homeschool Mom:
- Mom, are we having chicken for dinner AGAIN?
- Mom, you don’t know what it’s like. I have all this work to do and you don’t have to do anything!
- Mom, you’re not teaching me right.
- Mom, you’re a terrible math teacher!
Daily Life, Moses:
Exodus 17: 3 – 4 “But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
Moses was definitely a reluctant leader. However, he had done quite a bit for his people by the time we reach chapter 17 of Exodus, including:
- Performed God’s wonders in Egypt
- Led children of Israel out of Egypt
- Used by God to part the Red Sea
- Led children of Israel to an oasis with 12 springs and 70 palm trees
- Shared the good news that God would be providing Manna every day (except the Sabbath)
Within a few weeks of these great deeds, the children of Israel had forgotten all the good he had done, how he had sacrificed so much of himself for them. Here they are in Exodus 17, complaining again and angry enough to stone him! I believe what he longed to see, what he longed to hear was a little appreciation. How nice to have someone come up and say “thank you” for all his hard work! But instead all he heard was grumbling and complaining.
How could Moses, how can we homeschool moms, carry on with such a thankless job?
Bring your Hurts to God:
Exodus 17: 4 “Then Moses cried out to the Lord ….” Moses knew who to speak to first when things were difficult. It wasn’t his spouse or his closest friend. He went straight to his Maker to let him know his feelings, his pain. Child of God, remember to seek Him first. He already knows how you’re feeling, but He’s the kind of God who likes you to talk it over with Him.
Exodus 17:5 “The Lord answered Moses, Walk on ahead of the people.” When complaints increased God didn’t say, “Oh, it’s okay Moses, you can stop leading now.” He instructed him to keep going. “Don’t let their words stop you from your mission, Moses.” He seemed to be saying. Child of God, the same is true for you! Keep going. Don’t let your children’s words discourage you. Keep to the plan God’s given for you.
Point to Godly Leadership:
Exodus 17:5 “Take with you some of the elders of Israel…” God wanted Moses to lead by example, but He also wanted him to remind the children of Israel of other elders who were following God’s plan. Child of God, it is sometimes helpful to remind a thankless child of other families and friends who are homeschooling. Remind them of the good God has done in those families and his plan for your family as well.
Bring Your Tools & Gifts:
Exodus 17:5 “…. and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile.” Moses didn’t have much. He was a poor motivational speaker (Ex 6:30). He wasn’t wealthy. He wasn’t known for his military strategy or physical abilities. And, he was an old man, about 80 years old. In fact, all we are told that he has is his staff. However, through this simple man and simple object, God chose to move. With it he performed wonders in Egypt, parted the Red Sea, and brought forth water from a rock. Child of God, you may not have much. Maybe your resources are limited. Maybe you, like Moses, are a poor speaker. Maybe you (and your children) see what you don’t have, but God calls us to bring what we do have, stepping back and allowing Him to do much with our little.
Remember God is Before You:
Exodus 17:6 “I will stand before you…” God gently reminded Moses that he was not doing this alone. God was going before him and would be there with him. Child of God, when you’re feeling unappreciated it is easy to forget how much God loves you. He is going before you and is there with you!
Exodus 17:6 “Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” Moses was instructed to strike a rock with his staff. How foolish this must have seemed to him! Hitting a rock with a stick is a good way to break the stick, give yourself a headache, or both. It was an absurd way to get water. And yet, Moses chose to obey. The result was an abundance of water poured forth, enough for thousands of people and livestock to drink. Child of God, perhaps you are feeling, perhaps others (including your children) are telling you, “Homeschooling doesn’t make sense. It’s not working. You’re giving yourself a headache. Why bother?” But remember the Lord your God. He is a God who turns methods that don’t make sense into something glorious.
Moses was a man who was greatly undervalued during his lifetime. He bore grumblings, complaints, insurrection, and was even challenged by his own family members. And never do we read in scripture that the Children of Israel said, “Thank you!” Never do we see them having a “Moses Appreciation Day” or even giving him a present to show their respect and appreciation. What a difficult life! And yet, what a picture of OUR interactions with our Lord. How often does he lead us, provide for us, and bless us! How often do we forget to say, “Thank you!” to Him, to praise Him for the great work He is doing in our lives, to give Him the utmost respect and recognition for His awesome providence and power?
Child of God, the work of a homeschool mom is never fully appreciated by her children. But you too, like Moses, have the privilege of communicating daily with the Lord of the universe, and the day is coming when you will see the fruit of your labor! In the meantime, when you are feeling burdened by your children’s grumblings take time to be still and listen to his voice. Moses spoke and the voice of the Lord answered Him. He wants to speak to you today as well.
2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Copyright June 5th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)