Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 31 – How to find our healing

Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.  (Hebrews 12:11-13 NET)

As parents we all know how necessary it is to discipline our children – and how difficult it is too.  There is a stretch of years when it seems like all we do is say “No.”  We force them to eat right and forbid them to eat too much junk food, we tell them to go bed when they don’t want to, threaten to withhold privileges if they don’t clean up their rooms, and then pull their warm sleepy bodies out of bed to dress them for school on cold winter mornings.  It’s not easy being the one who has to discipline, but it’s all a part of a parent’s responsibilities.  They may cry, complain, and look at you with pitiful expressions, but without discipline your children will never develop the strength and maturity to live full and productive lives.  You may know some parents who never discipline their kids, and the results are disastrous. Children suffer terribly for lack of loving discipline.  

But to God, we are all children — a bit self-absorbed, very emotional and always asking, “Why?” It’s sad that we can demand respect from our children when we discipline them, and then turn around and treat God with suspicion and lack of trust when He disciplines us.  How often do we think that God doesn’t love us anymore, or that He is unfair?  Our problems would be resolved so much faster and easier, if we used His weapons, tools and promises with gratitude, without the drama and complaints.

Some parental discipline comes in the form of punishment to correct bad behavior.  But most discipline is just to help our children develop healthy habits that will bless them.  Not all of our struggles are because we have been “bad” children.  It’s a fact that we always need to mature, no matter how long we’ve served God. 

Those who do well with discipline, just like with our kids, are those who obey quickly and make every effort to change out of love and respect for their Father.  God’s promise is that our listless hands, our weak knees, our lame joints may be healed.  Submit to God’s loving correction, and become stronger.  God can’t bear to see His children handicapped, so He puts us in situations that stretch us and force us to exercise faith and obedience to Him.  We may feel alone like a child sent to school on his first day, but God is a better parent that any of us. He watches over us 24/7, ready to teach us, give us His power, and rescue us.  God heals, so let’s be quick to listen and obey to find our healing. 

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