Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)
TITLE: A life sentence - condemned to camp
By Suzanne R
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As I write this, Deborah dear, you are just a little girl. When you read this, if the Almighty is kind to us, my weary soul will have finally departed this world. You will be a grown woman with a family of your own. And you will soon be done with camping forever.
Dear girl, pay attention to your mother’s wisdom. Never ever grumble against the LORD. You could have been brought up in a land of milk and honey, in a house with grapevines curling over the pergola. You could have known what it is to live in a comfort. I could have trained you as a homemaker while you worked at my side.
When you were just tiny, Debbie, the LORD commanded our people to take the Promised Land, obliterating the current inhabitants. We foolishly retorted, “No, that is impossible.”
Is anything impossible when Jehovah commands it? We were incredibly stupid to say ‘No’ to the Almighty. What were we thinking? I just couldn’t fathom the possibility of losing your father to the giants that live in the land. We all grumbled against the LORD, and against His servant, Moses. We were mad.
It is because of our grumbling that Jehovah condemned our generation to camp in this blazing wilderness for the rest of our lives. It is because of our grumbling that you have no maternal guidance in establishing a permanent home. Yet the Almighty is merciful. He promised that your generation, Debbie dear, will take the land.
That is why I’m writing these words. It is my role as your mother to teach you to establish your house. If I explain verbally, you will forget. You have no experience. Your father and I will be long gone before the opportunity arises to put these principles into practice.
Deborah, all you know how to cook is that horrible quail. As for bread, there is more than manna, tasty though it is. My daughter, God shall provide you not with quail and manna, but with far greater means to care for your family! You shall have a vegetable patch, a vineyard, fields of grain, chickens, cows, sheep and even flowers! You shall cook delicious stews, bread, roast lamb dinners and cake. My collection of recipes is yours. The leek stew was my favourite. Because there are no leeks in this God-forsaken wilderness, you’ve never savoured this fragrant dish. Try it – you’ll love it.
Adequate water has always been a challenge. You’ve heard of the time we were desperate, and God caused water to flow from a rock. But Deborah dear, for you, Jehovah shall provide far more abundantly. You shall have a well full of water! There will be no more careful rationing of every drop when you make your home in the Promised Land!
Dear girl, one day, you shall have a permanent home. No more will you need to quickly pack your belongings, roof and walls as soon as you see the Cloud of Fire move. Make sure that you marry a diligent man who won’t cut corners as he builds. You don’t want a roof that leaks or walls that are draughty. That must be endured while living in a tent, but not in a house.
Ask your husband to build a large bed. You’ve never slept on a bed. It is sheer luxury. Use colourful fabrics and threads to create pieces of artwork for your quilts and pillowcases. While camping, we have to keep the bedding simple, but after this wretched lifestyle is over, luxury shall be yours!
Precious Deborah, above all, trust Jehovah, and teach your children the ways of the Almighty. When you sit in your beautiful home, teach your children. When you prepare feasts for your family and friends, teach your children. When you walk along the road to the bazaar, market or back to your lovely house, teach your children. When you tuck your children into their comfortable beds at night, and when they leap into your soft bed for a morning cuddle, teach your children.
Think of your wrinkled old mother, who has endured a lifetime of camping. God desires better than this for you. We grumbled against the LORD. Whatever you do, don’t repeat our mistake.
May Yahweh bless you, Deborah dear, with a good husband, a large and beautiful house, prosperous fields and livestock, and beautiful children to raise in the ways of Jehovah.
This comes to you with all my love,
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