I Stand Corrected

“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” Hebrews 12:6 NLT

I got many a spanking as a child (well not as much as my brother) for being mean and sassy…the sassiness persists lol but I don’t think I’m mean lol. No-nonsense maybe, but not mean. Anyway, I used to do some bad things, like slap my brother or kick him in the stomach or just punch him…I think it was because I didn’t have any girl cousins my age. A proud dress-wearing tomboy I am, thank you. LOL

But Lord knows I used to dread getting that whipping. My daddy had this belt, that we kids called ‘the belt.’ No matter where we hid it, WE had to go find it to get ready for the beatdown. I hate that thing lol. I don’t know how it lasted all those years. 3 kids…who all were not spared the rod…Jesus lol. Anyway, before the punishment ensued, my momma would often talk to us about what we did and we would start crying. I don’t know about my brothers, but I cried because of the beating, not because of what I did, because I know I meant to do it. Like I meant to slap him lol. It was the beating that hurt and left me thinking, was what I did really worth all this…?

Fast forward to adulthood. I have made many mistakes and the threat of being disciplined by God was enough to scare me straight. For every choice there is a consequence, both good and bad–being that consequences are simply the resulting reaction to an action (thanks physics lingo). I have gone places I should not have gone and done things I should not have done. I was simply being disobedient and doing what Marquita wanted to do. And some of the consequences were not worth the trouble. Let me be frank and honest here if I may. I have sinned before (gasp!) and as a result, in one particular circumstance, it cost me my direct line of communication with God, until I was away from the origin of the sins. God cannot be in the presence of sin, and thank God for Jesus because after the whipping I got (uncertainty it caused, rejection by the party involved) I was right back where I needed to be.

As my parents told me, the whippings and beatings were done out of love. If my parents did not love me, I would have fallen to the wayside and every time I went astray they would not have exerted the energy to reel me back into the fold. God is the same. In both the Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son, God’s love for us is evident. He would search to the ends of the earth for a lost sheep (like you and me) who by our wayward living get whipped until we decide to return home. He welcomes us with open arms for a loving embrace like the father of the Prodigal Son. (See Luke 15)

Sometimes life will whip us with hard times, the Word and the Holy Spirit will whip us with conviction, and we will allow the enemy to whip us with guilt, condemnation and defeat. Having been there and over doing that, haha, I rest in how those things have changed me and I look back now on those beatings with respect. Because God loved me so much, as my parents did, they saw fit to intervene and stimulate me to change courses. That is what being corrected is all about…serving as a catalyst for you to change.

“My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT

Crutches

It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 11:8 AKJV

Growing up I had the strange desire to have to use crutches. When my dad broke his ankle, my brothers and I took turns playing with the crutches. Strange things we want as kids…I wanted to have to wear a cast haha, I wanted glasses (overrated, as my brief experience resulted in a lost pair of glasses I paid for myself grrr), and I wanted braces (yet another experience I don’t miss but I often consider to further perfect my smile haha). But now as an adult and having had to use them myself after a foot injury and the ugly boot that ensued…crutches are a blessing and a curse all at once.

I guess I’m not meant to find that devotion I wrote…bummer. Anyway, I have had the tendency in life to seek guidance from others. As a consequence, I tend to get dependent and reliant that those people will always be a resource for me. God ALWAYS has a way of snatching the crutches back from me. You see the downside to using crutches for too long is that you become dependent on them, so much that you get comfortable and complacent where you are. You stop challenging and pushing yourself to do better, until you get into a position where you feel stuck. Ah yes, in the past, I got to that place quite often. It was like finally one day God got tired of me and told me enough was enough and started snatching the crutches away–the people I went to in order to seek Him, instead of praying and going to Him for myself. Isn’t that why Jesus died, so that we are no longer separated from the Father? There is no longer a need for sacrifices–well maybe sacrificing time here and there to truly spend that time with God.

And it would happen that either that person who had become my crutch would say something I didn’t agree with, hurt my feelings, or offend me in some way. Then I would go back to God for myself. Now I recognize it is the same thing happening again, some people had become my crutches in Charleston or over the years. Now that I have left, so have the crutches, and I am learning to walk on my own again, except this time hand in hand with God.

Maybe a valued friend or mentor has recently left their coveted position in your life and like me, it has left you confounded, confused, and in disbelief. Rest assured, God’s hand is stretched out to you in order for you to get through, but this time He wants you to come to Him for yourself, beyond the veil. I realize crutches are only supposed to support you in a time of weakness. But how do you know that your legs are strong enough until you try to walk without them?

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” Matthew 28:20 NLT