During training to be a radio-teletype operator in the Army one of the skills required of us was to learn Morse Code, both sending and receiving.
One spent long hours each day for weeks at a cubicle with head phones on and paper and pencil listening to a never ending combination of “dit-da-dit’s” representing letters and numbers.
You start with maybe ten per minute and as you reach a certain level of correct copying you increase the number. Each increase put you in the same position you’d been in before, tense and unable to respond correctly to the new speedier stream of signals. But after continuous practice there were less mistakes and on to the next increase.
Get to fifty and go back to listen to thirty and the thirty seemed slow. Copying was easy. Get to seventy and the impossible fifty was no problem.
I was listening to a speech of encouragement a Naval commander was giving and he said “If you want to change the world, make your bed.” He developed the thought that you get the simple tasks mastered and done then continue on to the more difficult ones.
He talked of the torturous training that aspiring Naval SEALES undergo to attain that title and it is brutal. But it followed a progression of experiences. The men are started out being pushed to what must seem like their limits of endurance, at that point, and with every completion of task the next pushed them even farther. There was no let up, no easing, just continual stress and pushing, no sympathy, no encouragement. Inherent in every trial was the purpose of making them give up. Those who made it, a small percentage of those who started, never gave up and indeed even in their own struggle to survive, helped a comrade who was struggling, not to give up either. I can imagine one saying “We’re going to finish, and we’re going to finish together.” They were different in the end than they were in the beginning.
As parents we want better for our kids than we had. I remember my parents saying that regarding my brothers and me. Yet then we may not discipline when necessary, hold accountable when warranted, require responsibility of them to the extent we should. We like how it feels to be the “good guy” but balk at being the “bad guy”. “Maybe they’ll think we don’t love them if we go too hard on them.” Or maybe we’re just lazy.
Some are stricter and may seem like they are too hard on their children. Discipline and strictness in love grows them to be able to handle the hard things in life.
Imagine trying to copy code coming in at fifty words a minute when you had only experienced twenty-five.
Imagine going into battle against great odds when cold or heat or fatigue or out numbering had to be faced without having experienced training which had strengthened you beyond what you thought you could do, showed you that if you don’t give up you can overcome.
How do we or our children deal with and achieve success when facing the difficulties of life, big and small, in a way that pleases our Maker, if we do not experience His instruction, His discipline and the suffering as well as reward, living it out can bring?
Wisdom is realizing that becoming endeared in His eyes doesn’t come easy or without pains.
As babies we are inexperienced in applying His Word. But we mature through being trained “by continuous exercise to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14 CJB.
When we fall short we are disciplined. But don’t give up. “Regard your endurance as disciple; God is dealing with you as sons. For what son goes undisciplined by his father?” Hebrews 12:7 CJB.
Yes it hurts. Yes we are embarrassed. “Now, all discipline, while it is happening, does indeed seem painful, not enjoyable…” Hebrews 12:11 CJB.
But the end result is good. “…but for those who have been trained by it (discipline), it later produces its peaceful fruit, which is righteousness. So, strengthen your drooping arms, and steady your tottering knees; and make a level path for your feet; so that what has been injured will not get wrenched out of joint but rather will be healed.” Hebrews 12:13.
In the end the result is very good. “Rejoice… even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these tests is so that your trust’s genuineness…will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua the Messiah.” 1Peter 1:6-7 CJB.
Father lead us to where our trust is without borders, to walk wherever You would call us so that our faith can be made stronger together with You.*
Father be patient with us. Nurture us as babes, train us, shape us, try and proof us, purify and cure us.
Take us from weak to strong, unclean to clean, sinful to righteous.
May we be trustworthy children, sons and daughters, pleasing to You.
May it be the desire of our hearts and our joy to be so for You.
In Yeshua’s name we pray,
May God’s love be in us all.
*Certain words taken from the song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) Hillsong-United.