When my boss sent pink flowers and ‘Congratulations!’ he wrote a little something more:
‘The Rest is History!’
And he knew this better than I, him with three grown children of his own.
Everyone warns you but no one can really prepare for the way that these little ones can wear you right out. What mama is awake enough to realize how tired this whole endeavor is making her?
I see a friend of a friend who’s not seen me for two years and she hears that I’ve had two babies since. She laughs, ‘You’ve been productive!’
I laugh too. There are so many days when this feels like anything but productive.
But I do know better.
I know these little bodies are big wonders-houses for big souls that will live for millions of years.
I know these messy peanut butter and jelly years are the beginning of an eternity.
And I can’t help but believe that the rest can’t be history.
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
he will give delight to your heart. Proverbs 29:17
There is no wonder that there are so many commands to discipline these little ones throughout Scripture. I need to be told, reminded, again, and again.
I have to tell you, it’s so hard for me to discipline.
Play with them? You bet. Read to them? Definitely. Cook for them? Most of the time. Talk with them? My favorite.
But discipline is difficult. It’s hard work so I keep hoping that one day they’ll finally wake up on the right side of the bed and not need any more discipline anymore.
But that day has yet to come.
The Proverb seems to suggest that one day it might-that rest might eventually be possible, even for mamas.
When I neglect discipline, I can tend to threaten and threaten and threaten. And then, eventually, I finally lose it-lose His peace and let all the pieces of me loose. I get angry, raise my voice, I say things I don’t want to say.
I add offense to the offense. And then it’s me that needs the discipline.
I tell myself to just do myself a favor-to go ahead and be obedient and discipline these children I love.
Because that’s what His love does for me.
And in a way, this call to discipline is God’s way of disciplining me-a cross of difficulty to bear that changes me, humbles me, makes me crawl up in my heavenly Father’s lap and cry.
But there with Him, disciplining me, when I finally obey and discipline the ones I love, there is finally rest.
And there is hope that all of us will rest with Christ for all of history.
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. Hebrews 12:5-6