Once again, I have been having trouble sleeping. God is working on me again. I am a work in progress, as we all are, and I am grateful for each moment of His mercy and grace as He walks me through every heartbreak from my past.
I much prefer His discipline to being forgotten and unnoticed, and this is what I would like to talk about today.
Who wants an indifferent, uncaring God? Not me!
Before we come into His grace, we can fall into the trap of believing He does not care.
It is not that God does not care for us, it is that He is waiting for us to turn from our sins and cry out for His help. Many of the Psalms speak to this fact, and they are a great place to turn for hope, but I would like to quote a verse from Lamentations.
“My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, until The Lord looks down from heaven and sees.”
And also several verses from James:
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
I thank God for giving me the perseverance to discover the depth of His love, for it was through a heartfelt prayer that I began my healing journey. I prayed, “Lord, please teach me to follow Your ways.” It was as simple as that. I prayed and He helped me submit myself to reading the Bible and living The Word. I turn to Him almost constantly in prayer nowadays.
If you find prayer difficult, then think of it simply as a conversation with a good friend. There are no rules or hoops to jump through in order to pray “correctly.” The majority of the time, I am not even on bended knee, because for years it was difficult for me to kneel down in prayer because of my pain. The biblical directives to kneel have more to do with submitting yourself through the condition of your heart, rather than the position of your body.
I thank Him abundantly every time I am rebuked, every time I am disciplined, because it means that He loves me enough to bother with me. It would be far worse if God threw up His hands in disgust and just walked away. People do that. But God does not. I know I have sinned far more than I would tolerate out of someone, if I were in His position. (Sometimes I wonder how my husband could be such a saint to put up with me for so long, but that’s another story.)
Being disciplined (as opposed to being punished or neglected) means that our parents care enough to make sure we follow the right path in life. It means that they love us and want the best for us. It means that they put our rearing on a higher level than their own selfish pursuits.
That’s the way it is supposed to work, anyway. Many parents fail to demonstrate love to their children in this way. Whether it be because of addictions, working too many hours, or the latest trend—not wanting to play the part of the bad parent by disciplining, because the children are from a broken home. We do not love our children when we sugar coat everything and refuse to carry out our parental duties.
A diet of lollypops and ice cream will result in a fat child, and a childhood without loving discipline and proper guidance will result in an adult who does not know boundaries, who does not know what love truly is.
Proverbs 3 tells of the wonderful blessings of fatherly love.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear The Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Honor The Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
My son, do not despise The Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because The Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of The Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of The Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”
“For no one is cast off by The Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Thank You, Lord, for disciplining me. Thank You, Lord, for being the parent in my old age that I so desperately needed and yearned for in my youth. Thank You, Lord, for saving me from my own wickedness.
My prayer for you today: Even though I know you may go through difficult times as you are refined by His loving discipline, I pray that your burdens will be lightened by coming to know Our Lord intimately through prayer and living The Word.
In His grace,