(Job 5: 17-18) 17 “But consider the joy of those corrected by God! Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty when you sin. 18 For though he wounds, he also bandages. He strikes, but his hands also heal.
Years ago, one of my cousins was in a terrible mountain-biking accident when he was a young(er) man. He was awfully disfigured and underwent numerous surgeries in order to regain a normal appearance…meaning — an appearance that wouldn’t cause people to wince and/or ask questions everywhere he went. The doctors called it reconstructive surgery. Throughout the process of these procedures, which took years to complete, my cousin had to endure a lot of pain both physically and emotionally. The surgeries were painful. He had bone removed from his skull and placed into his gums, so that he could have dental implants to replace the teeth he’d lost. He had skin grafts and pins, and everything else that goes into reconstructing a crushed face. I am sure there came a point for him when just the thought of going to the doctor was enough to send him into hiding, but he had to continue on through the pain to get the desired results…reconstruction. He had to trust the surgeon completely. He had to remember that the surgeon’s intention was not to harm him, but to make him whole again. Sure, the surgeon’s hands wounded him, so to speak, but over those cuts and sutures were gently and carefully placed bandages.
Our lives sometimes bring us into places where we are wounded beyond recognition. Our choices lead us into situations, though at times out of our control, that disfigure our spirits…and we have to be lifted into safety and undergo some tough reconstruction. We have to trust God in that pain. We have to understand that His hands sometimes have to wound us in order to correct us. Like the locked jaw that has to be broken, then wired shut for a time, before it is mended and corrected. It’s not fun, and it hurts, but we have to trust that the process is worth the outcome.
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. (Hebrews 12: 10-11)
When I was little, I was the kid that needed some (okay…a LOT of) spankings and discipline. I constantly had to be reminded (because of my impulsiveness, impatience and quick temper) that I was making poor choices. My parents had to, at times, strike me (usually on the butt), but were always quick with a loving hug and healing words of grace and encouragement. Well, I’m 37 years old and I still need those reminders…only now they almost exclusively come from my Heavenly Father. He sometimes has to lovingly reach down and (figuratively so) slap some sense into me! And I desperately need those reminders. Maybe it comes in the form of embarrassment, or internal conviction…sometimes it’s having hurt feelings…or causing them. However it may come to pass, I recognize my Father’s discipline for what it is, and though I don’t enjoy it (not by any means), I am able to reflect back on it and be thankful that He loves me enough to help me learn from and correct my mistakes.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for your eye of concern that is always fixed on little ole me. Help me to love the process, even when it hurts. Amen.