This past Wednesday was a typical day. I was working on the song list for Sunday, and Dusty had just pulled into our driveway after picking Sawyer up from school. But something was up. "Sawyer had a very rough day!" Dusty said quickly, as I heard Sawyer crying uncontrollably from the garage. "What happend?" I asked. I found out that Sawyer had been bothering his classmates during nap time and would not obey his teacher. It turns out Sawyer spit on his teacher while she was trying to talk with him. This had indeed been his roughest day. This reminded me of some of my rough days growing up. Like the time I punched my brother in the forehead. Ouch! It turns out it wasn't as rewarding as I thought it would be.
Dusty and I have been humbled and challenged by the gift of parenting. Because of the apparent sin in our sweet little boy's heart the importance of training him up in the way he should go is ever before us. This morning it struck me how in much the same way God is training and disciplining me as a son. In fact it says just that in scripture!
". . .we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness." Hebrews 12:8-10
God disciplines his children because he loves us! How unloving would it be if I ignored Sawyer's actions when he pushes the stroller into his sister to knock her down or pokes her with his fork? In the same way, God disciplines me because He calls me His son! It would be unloving for my heavenly Father to do anything less! It says in Hebrews 12:6
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Development, growth, training, and discipline aren't comfortable. It isn't always fun. (Not really ever.) But the result is freedom and the ability to share in the Lord's "holiness".
". . . but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 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 12:10b-11.
I have realized that the Lord is training and disciplining me in a myriad of ways during this residency. I am challenged by the leadership around me to answer God's calling on my life with fervor. Not for goodness sake, but for the sake of the call. Because that is what being a disciple of Christ means!
Side note: discipline and disciple share the same root word!