Every time August arrives, my first thought is not of the approaching school year, though I spent 50 Augusts headed back to a classroom, first as a student and then as a teacher.
No, every time I change the calendar to August, I celebrate the anniversary of the month I became a mother…on August 20th.
Like many dreamy girls, I long imagined how many children I would have, what they would be, what their names would be.
I chose my firstborn son’s name, Aaron, when I was all of 16 and was in love for the first time.
So, four months after I got married, when I found out I was to have a baby, the “boy name” was already a given.
Aaron is a biblical name. He was the older brother of Moses, younger brother of Miriam, firstborn son of Amram and Jochebed.
Because Jochebed had a son named Aaron, she has always been a favorite of mine. You’ll find her in Exodus 2: 1-10 and Hebrews 11: 23. Briefly: it was she who hid Moses from the Egyptians that wanted to kill all the male Hebrew infants and she who, led by God, conceived and carried out a plan to spare Moses for the epic work he would do.
Lessons from her life:
1) She was in touch with her destiny. She did not sit around wringing her hands and bemoaning the situation in which she found herself and her family. She knew there was work to be done and she did it. She was willing to pay a temporary price for a permanent and far-reaching result. She was without doubt terrified for the safety of her baby when she placed him in a basket and placed the basket in the river, but she didn’t look at just “today.” She looked ahead to the result she needed and she paid a price to achieve it.
2) She was in touch with her family. She knew Moses was an extraordinary child. [Many women will attest to the fact that they “know” their children long before they give birth to them.] She also must have done a remarkable job preparing Miriam for the work she would do. Keep in mind: this young girl hid in the bulrushes and watched for Pharaoh’s daughter to approach. How many children could be counted on to do this? Miriam did not abandon her post for some childish pleasure until her work was done. She stayed where she was, watching to see what would happen to her baby brother and then carried out her mother’s instructions to the letter.
3) She was in touch with her enemy. Yes, you have to know what your family is going to be facing and get them ready ahead of time. Jochebed did not underestimate the danger she and her family were facing, but it didn’t cripple her either. She didn’t blame God or anyone else. She came up with a plan which would temporarily separate herself from the baby she adored and then she waited till she achieved the desired result. Beyond that, her “enemy” paid her to take her own son home and rear him in complete safety.
Keep your eyes on your children. That “trait” that worries you and causes you daily frustration may be a quality God has put in your child in order to equip him or her for the work (s)he will do later. Work on channeling it in the right direction. When the time is right, don’t be afraid to “let go” of your children. They need other people in their lives, so they can learn to trust and be well-rounded and secure. You must empower them to face the “unknown” with confidence. And remember: sometimes the worst dangers that will confront your family are not the obvious ones.
Jochebed made wise and difficult decisions and an entire nation was saved as a result.