Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Joshua: Lesson in discipline and love

Sometimes I find that I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do what I want. The worst thing is when I do that I someone else shines the light of the Lord on it. My reaction (on the inside) is to recoil and just give up. Or to run and hide somewhere anywhere. I find the discussions in my head go from doubt, hurt, blame, and disbelief to defeat. Then I have to force myself to look at the nature of God and his desires for the best in my life.

Joshua reminds me that we all make mistakes no matter how “spiritual” or what our role is. But God is faithful to correct us for our own good and the good of others.

However, when I’m corrected my normal response is to withdraw and to want to give up. There is something within me that says, “fine”! You do it! I quit! I’m just too imperfect to do this task or to serve the Lord.

Yet the Lord desires to correct AND restore me, you all of us. To tell you the truth the correction is sometimes so painful, at the same time I know that it is necessary for me to really learn, change and grow. It is like exercising without the pain in my muscles there is no change in the strength and endurance of my muscles. The discipline is necessary for our equipping and healing.

Often after I have received the discipline of the Lord my confidence is shaken a bit. I’m sure that Joshua had some of those same feelings. I have the sense that I don’t really know what or how to take the next step. Yet, God in his love and faithfulness encourages us to get back on the horse and try again. Sometimes it is so hard because everything within me wants to say “Forget it”! I don’t know how he does it, but just keeps drawing me to try it again and all the while he is inviting me to trust him.

The reality is that I’m usually sitting on the ground because I have tried to “ride the horse” in my own strength instead of trusting him.

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