“My son, do not despise the Lord ‘s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:11-12 ESV).
I remember watching Jurassic Park many years ago. The hunter, Muldoon, was discussing velociraptors and commented on their intelligence. He said they attacked the electrified fences, “…but they never attack the same place twice. They were testing the fences for weaknesses, systematically. They remember” (imdv.com). Looking back, I believe that kids are a lot like velociraptors.
Kids seem always to push the envelope, searching for the hard line where behavior becomes unacceptable to their parents, grandparents, teachers and other authority figures. They have been told (hopefully!) what good behavior looks like and what bad behavior looks like. However, they don’t always take our word for it!
In my experience, from both sides of the coin, discipline enforces the line that has been verbally drawn in the sand. But no one likes to be disciplined. “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11 ESV).
Understanding this, one would think that we would gladly submit to the Lord’s discipline, perhaps even seek it out. But we aren’t naturally wired that way. We tend to choose the path that is easiest. We choose the sunshine over the rain, and we avoid the metaphorical hills, despite the beauty advanced by rain and the view from the peaks.
Life can be hard, and the Christian life harder still.
But just as I desire to see my children grow and find joy and happiness in this life, and have tried to set boundaries that keep them on the path that God has for them, God, our Father, desires even more that we would walk within the boundaries that He has set for us. His discipline acts as a barrier that keeps us from drifting off a cliff. The fact that He does discipline us is proof of His love for us!
I may never reach the point in my life where I desire the Lord’s discipline. But I am learning, slowly but surely, to yield when it comes. God’s discipline usually starts with a gentle nudge as He seeks to teach us in the easiest manner possible. We will learn, one way or another, so why not surrender right away?
Blessings on your day!