As a parent, some lessons are fun to teach. Like reading interesting history books together or discovering why the moon changes shape. And then there are lessons that are hard to teach and, I imagine, even harder to learn. We have had some of those lessons at our house lately.
Maggie has been sick with a cough and now a stomach bug. My dear friend Melody gave us some wonderful herbal medicine yesterday that is GREAT at making sick children well. But apparently, it doesn't taste so good. This morning it took THIRTY MINUTES to get Maggie to swallow her "yucky" medicine and chew up her sour Vitamin C tablet. She was wincing and crying and doing everything she could to avoid taking the stuff, but being her Mommy and knowing how much her sweet little body needed it, I did not relent. It would have been so much easier on both of us to just say, you know that tastes yuck, so let's just play instead. But Maggie, and all of my children, needs to learn to do things that aren't fun or easy. I pray that the lessons she learns today will help her one day when she's a Mommy whose morning sickness makes it hard to change a poopy diaper or deal with a cranky toddler. And that she will persevere.
While Maggie was hurling, Allie was doing everything in her power to avoid the sick child. At first I thought, well, I understand that. I would avoid her too right now if I could. :) But then I noticed other things, like being grossed out by having to visit a relative in the nursing home and being unwilling to touch a soiled blanket. I decided this morning was a good time for a Bible lesson on compassion. We looked up all the verses we could find about having compassion on others in need. Did you know that the Bible teaches that what we have done "to the least of these", we have done to Jesus?? Did you know that the Bible says if we turn our ears from the cries of needy, no one will hear our cries when we are in need?? I know this may seem like an extreme reaction to Allie's avoidance of her sick siblings, but I thought we ought to recognize that Jesus wants us to be compassionate and kind to others and trust Him to keep us healthy. I think the lesson, though hard, may stick in Allie's head. I know it stuck in mine. Ouch. I could use more compassion, too.
Thank You Lord for the hard lessons!