Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When God Chastises

I remember as a child how devastated I was whenever my father punished me. Often times, I would feel the hardness of his hand across my cheek as tears stung my eyes. He never came to me afterwards to explain his anger or disappointment in me. I learned quickly to associate punishment with rejection. Whenever I would hear him raise his voice, I would cower fearing a physical assault. But I soon learned that a father's chastisement isn't always painful.

As I've grown in my walk with the Lord, I have come to realize that as I trust Him more and more every day; I have to accept his correction along with his love. The Bible says "For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights." Proverbs 3:12 and also "because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Hebrews 12:6. I had always had a hard time understanding this concept. If someone loves you, how could they punish and hurt you. But recently, God used something simple to teach me how he corrects us in love.

I've always been a purpose driven person. My husband tells me constantly that I don't know how to rest. Every day of the week, I am busy from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. There is always so much to do and so little time. A few weeks ago, I was busy working on laundry on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. My husband had tried several times to get me to come and sit down and just rest. Wanting to accomplish my goal, I continued sorting and washing clothes. 

As I stood in the laundry room working away, I heard a still, small voice in my spirit. The voice said "why are you rebelling against me?" I almost turned around to see who had said that but before I had a chance to turn, I felt God speaking to my heart again..."this is the day I set aside for your rest. You are being disobedient and rebelling against me by refusing to accept my rest for you." Wow! Talk about correction! I never realized that refusing to rest on Sunday was having a rebellious spirit toward God. 

I immediately stopped what I was doing and began to cry. I asked God for forgiveness for rebelling against him. I thanked him for lovingly and gently correcting me. No, I did not feel physical pain at his correction but I did feel the shame of rebellion in my heart. I am thankful that God loves me enough to correct me when I am in the wrong. I am also thankful that His love and mercy flow into the forgiveness he offers when we accept his correction for our disobedience. 

Is there some area of your life that you need to correct? Has God shown you an area of disobedience or rebellion? If he has, why don't you confess it to him now and accept his love and forgiveness? He is a loving father who only wants the best for us.