Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.
These are hard words to receive. We don’t want to think God will correct us, will discipline us. We were corrected by parents and other authority figures when we were young; we think surely we must be past that stage! God is love, not discipline, right?
The Bible does not lie. God’s love contains correction and discipline; rain and sunshine are both part of life. We do not doubt the love of our parents when they punish us for stepping out of line. Why do we think less of God when God allows difficulties to mold our character? God wants us to grow to maturity, in faith and character. Without course correction we tend to grow complacent. Only when we are forced to examine our motives or have to deal with a challenge do we discover resources and inner reserves we never knew were there. Only later may we look back and see the good that came despite the hardship.
Paul once stated something of the same truth. He called God’s light in us a treasure within jars of clay. From 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
Job had a hard time allowing God to be God. Like Job, we don’t always understand why God does what God does. We are limited in our self-awareness, and limited by the time and space in which we live. We cannot see God’s greater purposes, or why people suffer. All we can do is put our trust in God who we call both Almighty and Good.
Let me put my trust in you today, Almighty God, who corrects me and protects me. Let me not in pride presume I am too good to need a push to mature as I should. Mold me even if it is painful, for I remember that Jesus suffered and died for me. Let me make you first above all others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.