“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?… 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 12:7, 10-11
A Reflection on the past 6 months.
Never in my life have I experienced such a radical change in my relationship with God. I remember the start of really struggling with God and it starts back with my pride and my unwillingness to work hard… maybe around December. As months passed, I can look back in my journal and see how cold my heart grew as winter began fading. Anger towards God raged more and more, and it seemed that not so long ago I had been skipping class to read the Bible. I had to leave my bible at home it was becoming so distracting for me. Especially towards the end of the semester, a dear sister would pray with me and every word she spoke caused nothing but torment to come pouring out of my soul. Surprisingly she still stuck with me, and still kept praying. What I would have done without her patience, I just don’t know.
In my heart, at that time, there were a lot of reasons I didn’t want God to be apart of my life and there were a lot of times I would yell at Him for not answering me to unlock my heart and expose my brokenness. By the end of the semester I was in tears a lot and just barely hanging on… and not only that, I was hit with a virus called Pityriasus Rosea… or what I like to call Leprosy. It spread all of over my body and BOY DID IT ITCH! I couldn’t even take showers without my body being drenched in frustration… you see, I couldn’t itch because it only made it worse… so fighting temptation became its own battle. God was stirring up a fire.
Yet, when He begged me to open my heart… I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t let him in.
After school ended, I spent the next month pretty much weeping every night before bed. So fed up with my heart, that I couldn’t part with it, and now a new burden crossed my path. My dad wouldn’t call me back. For three months I waited, trying not to expect too much from Him, trying not to put my hope in him; but it hurt and it felt unfair that while the rest of the world looked forward to phone calls with their dads… I couldn’t… and it was obvious that God was inhibiting our relationship and a lot of other relationships in my life during that time to break me down. Eventually God did. He wore me away and showed me that I was rebellious and sinful.
This sin was unbelief. Doubt.
Apparently I wasn’t putting my trust in God and His truth. Turns out, you have to believe it… and choose to believe it. It didn’t seem like God was good because I just wasn’t believing His truth, nor was I reading it. This is why God disciplines us. Oh how I longed for the days of old, but God wanted me to fight through this battle and come out on the other side.
“Love the Lord’s discipline”
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
It was hard to do, but through God revealing my rebellious heart to me, He showed me He was in fact disciplining me… because He loves me. It is hardly a joking matter to be humbled or disciplined, this I see and know first hand. If I could describe the last half of a year all I can say is “Hard.” Through God’s hand of discipline, and how severe it was… I see that God allowed all the situations in my life that I thought were merely humbling to take my heart and say “Hey, Teresa. You are not believing in me or my truth. Stop. Believe my words. I will never leave you nor forsake. Believe my words, with all your heart, mind, body, and strength.”
I chose to believe it again. I chose to believe God is good. I chose to believe He has the best for me in mind. I’m continually choosing to believe His love is better than life. I’m continually choosing to believe He is, and was, and is to come. I chose to LOVE the Lord’s discipline because it is a mark of His love. Amen.