I woke up this morning wanting a Tai Chai Latte from Starbucks.
Funny because I had not had one for two years. But this morning I was cold and hot tea with a tangy taste was the first thing that hit my frozen brain.
Frozen – because I have not had heat all weekend. And not feeling 100% and being cold at the same time isn’t particularly fun.
So I wanted a Tai Chai latte.
And I got up, got dressed and drove the two miles to Starbucks and got one.
What does this have to do with Moses?
Well, in one way — nothing.
But in another way — a lot.
For the past several months I have been immersed in writing Sparks curriculum, slowly making my way through the Old Testament and the colorful Bible characters that reach out and grab us from God’s Word.
I take writing curriculum for kids (or anyone) very seriously. I want every detail to have Bible backup – even if it differs from what we’ve always assumed.
For instance, I have heard several kid lessons about how obedient Miriam was (Moses’ sister) because she stood on the banks of the Nile and watched over her little brother. But the Bible doesn’t tell us that anyone told her to do that. Maybe her parents did, but we don’t KNOW that. What we do know is that she did it and had a quick and good response when she met the princess.
And I started thinking about these people not just as sermon illustrations, but as real people with real feelings … and relatable complaints. People who had great trust in God and then sometimes (but not always) in a moment of discouragement, despair, self-pity – fell apart.
Think about Joseph, being rejected by his brothers, being sold into slavery, being tempted by a lady in power, being put in prison … Yet, ultimately showed forgiveness.
I think about Amram and Jochebed and how they kept Baby Moses quiet for months — how crazily nervous they must’ve felt. (Think how difficult it is to even keep a baby quiet during an hour-long church service.)
And I think about the Israelites. We get down on them a lot. Why couldn’t they see everything God was doing for them? Why did they witness so many miracles and instantly forget what had happened?
Let’s consider this.
They left the land where they were slaves, but at least life was fairly predictable.
They ate the same food every morning and every night. (What food would you choose? Steak? Pizza? Ice cream?)
Oh, and the thirst as they walked through the desert! I couldn’t even get up in my semi-frozen house without craving chai tea. Or think about the last road trip when everyone was hot and thirsty and your kids were whining that they would absolutely die if they didn’t get something to drink.
And the blisters on the Israelites feet as the sand got stuck in their sandals — how fun would that have been?
Or what if you had the “camel flu” or whatever stomach upsets people got back then — or were nine months pregnant and trying to keep up with more than two million people? (This wasn’t just a small tour group.)
I don’t think we have any right to get down on the Israelites. Because I think we would’ve said and done the same things – and probably ( with our instant-gratification mindset) would’ve been even worse complainers.
Should they have trusted God?
Did they? Not all the time.
Should we trust God?
Do we? Not all the time.
When we teach our kids, either ministry or personal, let’s make the characters real to them.
Real people. Real problems. Real panicky-moments.
And let’s make sure they know that we have a real God who cares and understands the perils we face.
The one, true God we can trust.
And as for Moses — I’m just thinking that maybe he would’ve liked a tai chai latte as he walked across the desert of Shur – or at least an iced tea as he trudged through the endless sand.
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:11-12).