God’s discipline may seem painful at the time, but is always for our good. The joy of a Father’s discipline is something we need to be seeking.
My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.
HEBREWS 12: 5-6
I have so many great memories of my dad. Sitting side by side on the piano bench as he played and I plunked; working together in the pig barns; snacking on peanut butter and saltine crackers; swinging under the apple tree; soaking in the mellow sounds of his western guitar and vocals.
I also have precious memories of time spent with my heavenly Father. Sharing the excitement of the first wildflowers in spring; waking up to the moonlight on my face; hearing His internal whispers as I prayed for a friend; sitting in the spray of a waterfall as I imagined His voice like the sound of many waters.
The lists could go on and on. My most treasured memory, however, is not of the laughter or celebrations or sense of wonder. My most valuable memory is when both my dad and my Father spoke truth that shook my world to its foundation.
I had allowed my heart and life to become entangled in relationships that were silently killing me and my family. I knew it deep inside, but didn’t have the courage to face the truth. At just the right moment, in a gentle but firm word, my dad spoke what I couldn’t and opened a door to freedom.
At that same moment it felt as if my heavenly Father grabbed me by the collar and pulled me back from the edge of a cliff. In a flash He opened my eyes to see details I had missed for so long. I had chosen to follow my fears instead of believing in the love and faithfulness of my God. In tender but strong words the Holy Spirit disciplined me.
It was a fearful, gut-wrenching day. It’s not easy to stand before a Holy Father and realize your sin. As scripture after scripture filled my mind, they exposed my heart and separated lies from truth. The sword of the Word cut to the deepest purposes of my heart.
It was also painful to face the family I love when I had failed so miserably. But I will forever treasure that moment. Both my Father and my dad loved me enough to risk offending me in order to save me from much greater pain.
Much of society scoffs at the idea of discipline, believing that the only way to show love is by acceptance and praise. I agree that love always believes the best and works to build others up. However, there are times when love must also speak truth in order to correct, teach, and discipline.
I’m like anyone; I usually prefer applause over correction. Yet I have learned the joy that comes from the perfect training of our God. Hebrews 12:10-11 tells us that God’s discipline may seem painful at the time, but is always for our good. His discipline allows us the miracle of sharing in His holiness.
Rarely a day goes by that my heart doesn’t swell with thanksgiving and joy for the day I was offered that opportunity for freedom and healing. It is an invitation that often comes with correction, but oh the joy of knowing you are a child that is loved.
Want more of Amy’s inspiring articles? Check out Love From a Higher Perspective