My post today is simple: We all experience pain. All of us.
And all of us tend to question God when the pain persists. Every single one of us. Because deep down we know the truth: “Endure hardship as discipline.” Hardship is a form of divine discipline. We don’t like it, it doesn’t fit with our “Loving God” platitudes, but there it is in black and white.
I’ve been studying Hebrews 12, where the scripture says, “Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline.” Make light means two things in the original: To shrug off, or to despise. Don’t resent God’s discipline. Don’t rationalize, don’t walk away, don’t tune it out. Pain is an intervention, and God is the One calling the meeting.
“Do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
That’s not how we see things. Not at all. When the stress is mounting and our hearts are crumbling under the weight, when pain ripples through our soul and drags us to our knees, we secretly (or not so secretly) wonder: “God, I thought you loved me.” And the next nugget is right on it’s heels, no longer a prayer, but a thought: “I guess God has rejected me.”
“Wait!” God says. “I’m disciplining you and allowing this pain in your life BECAUSE I love you. It’s actually proof that I ACCEPT you!”
Too many of us waver on this, almost like the insecure lover plucking petals from a daisy: Something good happens… he loves me. Something bad happens… he loves me not. Something good happens… he loves me. Something bad…. he loves me not.
How many of us experience a trial or hardship, recognize it as discipline, and marvel, “Wow, God must really love me!” Can’t say I do that too often. You?
God, you love me. Even when I love you not.