Spiritual discipline

Hebrews 12:5  “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him;  for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”

I am feeling very accepted this evening.

Have you ever received a Holy Spirit whoopin’?  I did tonight.

Upon receiving word from my sister about an acquaintance being declared “cancer free” after a few months of treatment, I responded with the usual “that’s wonderful!  Praise God, Wow!” then proceeded to think out loud that someday I will question God on how He figures out these healing decisions.  Not that I wish anyone harm, but…you know…you’ve asked this one, right?  Anyway, right in mid-sentence, before I got to the part about our prayer for my Momma’s healing, the phone went dead.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I have a very active imagination, combined with a very sensitive guilt complex, so of course, my first thought was that I was on speaker phone with the acquaintance present on the other end.  And of course, my sister hung up immediately to protect the acquaintance from being hurt any further.  I was in tears, repenting of my hasty words that may have wounded someone who desperately needs mercy.  The fact that my sister did not answer my calls or texts served to further cement in my spirit that I was a creep.

Eventually, I did get a response from my sister…laughing at me.  Her signal dropped at such a critical time, I was not on speaker phone, nor was that acquaintance present.  I had not hurt anyone, and God used it as an opportunity to discipline me and teach me a very valuable lesson.  I am not God.  I do not know what He is doing in this life of this person, and all of His ways are so much higher than mine.  He also lovingly reminded me that I am His child.  He will not allow me to continue in my ignorance and presumption with Him.  Check out the rest of this passage:

Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness.

The whole point of being disciplined by God is for our good, so that we can live and share in His holiness.  Do you get that?  We are in the process of becoming holy…and one of the means of accomplishing this in us, according to this passage, is by discipline.

11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.   12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

This evening while talking to a dear friend about my journey, I remarked that I identify with the wandering lamb whose leg had to be broken for its own protection.  I have to believe that that lamb has a much different relationship with the shepherd than the other “healthy” sheep.  That lamb, though she is isolated from the others, gets to stay snuggled next to the Shepherd.  She is often carried close to His heart, and can hear His gentle words so clearly as they walk together.  I am waiting for the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  I want strong arms and legs.  I’m learning to make straight paths for my feet, while my injuries heal.  And I can hear the words of my Savior, speaking sweet consolation to my spirit.  Tenderly He binds up the broken limbs;  Lovingly he instructs and  challenges me to walk again;  Gently he leads;  Patiently He waits, and continues to pray for me.

He is good.