One night, a very long time ago, I did something really bad. I was around 8 or 9 and I don’t really remember what it was. But I remember being punished for it. I remember being sent to my room while everyone else was in the den watching TV. (And that was before iPods, iPads, and video games so it was pretty boring in there.) I remember lying on my stomach at my bedroom door’s threshold, listening to the TV down the hall and my family laughing and having a good time – without me.
I didn’t enjoy that night. Wasn’t supposed to. So whatever my crime, I did the time and knew I didn’t want that feeling of separation again. (Score: Nana & Pop – 1, Leigh – 0)
My parents disciplined me out of love for me, not because they didn’t like me. And you know what? Unlike many of today’s parents they weren’t afraid to punish me and my sister for our own good. God does the same to us, to those He knows as His children. “Endure hardships as discipline: God is treating you as sons.” (Hebrews 12:7)
I was punished out of my parents’ love and their desire to teach me. It was worthwhile suffering, even though I didn’t enjoy it. “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11)
No one enjoys being punished. It’s shameful, embarrassing and hurtful. But discipline is important in raising a child and in your walk of faith. God isn’t going to let you run around like a wild child because He loves you and wants you to experience His holiness, His righteousness, His peace.
So when hardships come and you are lying on the threshold of your punishment, thank God for the lessons He is teaching you at that moment.
You’ll need that discipline later.