©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
I have two very devoted followers whose number often increases to five throughout the day. The youngest two, however, are by far the most faithful at this time. So faithful in fact that they often cause me great frustration, I can’t even go to the bathroom without interruption. On the other hand when they aren’t following me around they are quite often doing things like distributing the dog’s food to the kitchen floor, flooding the bathroom, eating markers or taking adventurous trips around the neighbourhood. Having them underfoot isn’t always a bad thing.
I realize that my main role in life right now is to train these disciples of mine to do exactly what they’re doing. Following my example as I follow the example of Christ. That realization often brings me to my knees as I fall so far short of being a godly example on many days. Trying to teach the not-so-simple concept of obedience is a moment by moment training exercise for them and a character building experience for me. I can take some comfort in the fact that I remember the precise moment when my eldest son grasped the concept of obedience. It was a marvellous thing.
I got to thinking about all this in light of Jesus and his disciples. I wonder how frustrated Jesus got with these guys when they just didn’t get it. The twelve were full grown adults not small children and yet you can see as Jesus spoke to them that His words were often simple and He repeated Himself a lot. I can also see how He drew away by himself to commune with His Father, perhaps to get away from the hard-headed lot that was assigned to him and get a bit of a breather. No wonder he was asleep in the boat during the storm, he was most likely exhausted from suddenly having twelve kids at one time!
I can take courage from Jesus’ work with His disciples. They turned out pretty good in the end for all of their ineptitude and screw-ups in their early days. This example of my Lord patiently training up his spiritual children in the way they should go gives me good reason to stay in the trenches with my little ones. I’m not sure who gets trained more, them or me. After all I have to be a good example to follow. It makes me cringe every time I reprimand one of my kids for doing something and then realizing that I’m the one who showed them how to do that, ouch.
Whether you are a parent or not, being involved in the discipleship process is something all of us are assigned to do. Don’t lose heart, 2 Corinthians 4 says that though we are outwardly wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Our light and momentary troubles are gaining for us an eternal glory that FAR outweighs them all.