Recently during Sunday School I taught The Battle of Jericho.
As a reminder…
God told Joshua to have the armed men march around the city once each day, for six days. The priests were to carry the ark, blowing trumpets, but the soldiers were to keep silent. On the seventh day, the assembly marched around the walls of Jericho seven times. At Joshua’s command, the men gave a great shout, and Jericho’s walls fell down flat! The Israelite army rushed in and conquered the city. I left out plenty of details – but that is just a quick reminder.
After we used wafer cookies and frosting to construct Jericho’s walls one of my students asked me if I actually believed this happened.
That’s a VERY tough and VERY important question.
I told her what was most important was the lesson she learned from the story. We talked about some of other stories seem totally unbelievable – Noah’s Art, Daniel and the Lions’s Den, Daniel and the Giant,
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the parting of the Red Sea. I said, ‘Some people believe that the story is the absolute truth, others believe it’s a kind of ‘movie’ version of something that actually happened, still others believe that the stories simply teach a lesson. They exist to teach us something much bigger, that’s why they are often called parables.
In this case, there were three lessons I wanted them to really learn.
1. Josua felt unqualified for the task – but God promised to be with him every step of the way.
2. Joshua had to be patient to complete the task. He couldn’t go into Jericho with ‘both barrels blazing.’
3. Faith without works is mostly ‘useless.’ It’s easy to talk the talk, much more difficult to talk the talk. We are called to act, to help, to support others.
It (of course) reminded me of Tucker and the spectrum and everything else.
1. Although I seem very competent when it comes to this parenting thing – there are moments that I feel very unqualified. There are moments that I cry. Moments that I roll my eyes. Moments that I sigh. Moments that I get angry. Moments that I am so frustrated I could spit. The only difference is that all of those moments are in private – eye rolling towards windows, tears in the shower, frustration after the children go to beds, spirited sighs that turn into spirited songs.
Like Joshua, God promised to be with me. That’s just one of the reasons that my faith development has been strengthened on this life journey. I need it. I need to believe that everything will be okay. I need to believe that there is a larger purpose. I need to believe it all.
We have our own sort of army willing to walk around the walks. His teachers, his friends, his coaches, his family, our entire community. He has done amazing things in his 12 years on this earth – and much of that is because of his devote army that would go to war for him.
2. Like Joshua, I have to be patient. With everything that is Tucker, patience is key. Patience and calmness. It’s the only way I ever achieve anything. It’s the only way I can get his walls to come down.
With patience, comes greatness.
With patience, comes the reaping of seeds sown.
3. We must do. When people showed their faith in these parables it was always about doing something. People didn’t sit by idly – they acted. So, I act. I advocate. It is my walk. When I started writing – I called it a journey for many reasons. One of those reasons is that the journey is a walk in itself – writing is the doing.
I don’t expect anyone to give my son special favors. I do advocate for understanding every day. I do expect others to try to get him, to understand him, and to DO right by him. Why?
Those are three lessons that I learned so many years ago from Mrs. Schmidt in my Sunday School class and I certainly am glad they have stuck with me all of these years.
You are not alone.
Love is a verb. It’s something we do. We are called to show love, always – to all.