“This is going to hurt a bit.” Not exactly what you want to hear when someone has her hands in your mouth, even if she is beautiful and sweet.
Holding up the tiny loopy band, the assistant tries to comfort me, “This power chain is going to pull your teeth together quicker, but over the next few days you are going to hurt. We need the power chain for correcting your gap; to get your teeth where you want them to be.”
Having braces in your mid-forties is bad enough, but when pain is part of the package, I wonder if it’s worth it.
There are days when I open up God’s word and He delivers the same message as the orthodontist assistant. “This is going to hurt a bit, but the power of my Word working on your heart will help us get your life where you want it to be.”
Pain? What kind of pain?
The pain of correction.
He points out my worrying heart. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” in Philippians 4:6. Retraining my thoughts to not be anxious can be painful; the pain of discipline.
Correcting me, God points out the way I was rigid when I responded to my child, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) I am challenged to go and ask my child for forgiveness and choose gentleness instead of anger.
He draws my attention to the thoughts I allowed to brew in my mind over a rude email. Grow in this area, Lynn “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 If my thoughts about her are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, He says they must go.
My heart squirms. Though I don’t want to, my mind wonders, “Is the discipline to change going to be worth it?” Other times shame tries to find a corner in my heart. You know better; you should be passed this point.
Then I remember Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights” . I remember His truth. My Father God corrects me because He knows where I want to be…a woman who honors Him. He disciplines me because He wants me where He wants me to be; one who glorifies Him. And to become that woman, there is going to be some pain involved.
The phrases, “whom the Lord loves” and “in whom he delights” provide relief as I set correction into motion. My Father’s discipline always comes because He dearly loves me; is crazy about me! As I dearly love and enjoy my children, the Father loves and enjoys me, only more so! This is the message I have to speak to my heart when it tries to tell me God is mad at me or disappointed in me. He loves me and wants what is best for me, which includes growing more like Him.
Friend, read God’s word and as you do, eagerly look for the correction your loving Father gives. His correction is evidence of just how much He loves us! “Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law;” Psalm 94:12 (NIV)
Lord, it can be hard to equate your correction with your love. Keep my heart soft and my mind open as I read Your word. Discipline me because of your devotion to me. Amen
Part of understanding God’s loving correction is understanding God’s love. Do you have a young women in your life who needs a greater understand of God’s love for her? Lynn’s books, “His Revolutionary Love; Jesus’ Radical Pursuit of You” and “Devotions for a Revolutionary Year” can help her grasp His love!
What area in your life is God trying to correct you is today? Thank Him for showing you this growth opportunity and commit to partnering with Him to bring this new change into your life! If there is an area I could pray for you today, I would be honored! Just leave your prayer request in the comments below.
The winner of Friday’s copy of “His Revolutionary Love” is Kim who post 1/17/14 @ 9:43 a.m. Congratulations Kim! Please email me with your full name and address and I’ll get it right out!