My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. (Proverbs 3:1-12 NIV)
Have you ever had a hard time rejoicing with those who rejoice? Felt disheartened when you heard someone else receive a compliment? Suffered dejection when your peers succeeded in areas you did not. Despaired when others seemed not to understand or care about your circumstances? Surprised yourself by being unusually cranky and ungenerous?…me neither! 🙂
You may or may not have noticed, but I have been absent from writing this blog for a while. I took some time off. Writing is a terrifying experience–especially when you feel compelled to be transparent and reveal the vulnerable struggles and not-so-attractive secrets about one’s self. I was worried that if I wrote about where I was in my journey, I would lose any readers I might have. But those who know me, already know that I am far from perfect. So here I am. The embarrassing truth is, that on any given day in the past few months, I may have been able to answer some of the above questions in the affirmative.
A turbulence in my heart was growing and growing until I knew I had to go to God and deal with whatever it was that was causing it. The Lord gave me the image of a filthy fish tank as a word picture of my foul heart.
As I prayed, I felt impressed that my problem was resentment. So I began to think of people towards whom I may be resentful. No one came to mind …until I read this in my morning devotion…
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke, (Proverbs 3:11)
I resented God.
Resentment is defined as bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly. It is now clear to me that all resentment is directly or indirectly pointed towards God. After all, didn’t I believe He was sovereign and directed my path. Didn’t I believe that He was the one that was behind every circumstance and allowed everything that I encountered. As I continued to process this resentment that God had exposed, I set the Bible reading to audio and it happened to be on Job 6. This is what I heard :
“If only my anguish could be weighed
and all my misery be placed on the scales!
It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—
no wonder my words have been impetuous.
The arrows of the Almighty are in me,
my spirit drinks in their poison;
God’s terrors are marshaled against me.…
What strength do I have, that I should still hope?
What prospects, that I should be patient?
Do I have the strength of stone?
Is my flesh bronze?
Do I have any power to help myself,
now that success has been driven from me?” (Job 6:2-4; 11-13 NIV)
The words resonated in my spirit and I identified with the emotion that Job discharged. Of course, my measly circumstances were nothing compared to what Job experienced. But as the words expressed my sentiments and resentment perfectly, I could now own them. I could repent and let God bring the healing that I needed.
I went back to the original morning devotion and read the chapter again.
Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
a father’s delight is behind all this. (Proverbs 3:3-12 MSG)
“It’s the child he loves, that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this”! It was out of the Father’s delight in Job that God said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?!” then allowed the testing. (Job 1:8) God delights in us and out of love He desires to make us more like Himself by bringing correction.
I now realize the correction that God sees I need must warrant the circumstances He has placed me in.
I like how the commentator Warren Wiersbe puts it, “No matter how much the experience hurts us, it will never harm us, because God always chastens in love.” ( emphasis mine).
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us when we flail around in our fleshly tantrums. Forgive us when we sulk over disappointments and forget what you told us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) Help us to trust you with ALL our heart and remember that EVERYTHING you allow into our lives serves some great purpose and is motivated from your delight and love for us. LH
I saw this new song, The Unmaking by Nichole Nordeman after I wrote this post and it was such an encouragement. You won’t regret taking a few minutes to view it.!