Hebrews 12:11 – 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. (NIV)
We have horses and goats, and horses and goats are good at many things, but one of the things they're best at is making a lot of slippery, stinky mess in the corral. Morning, noon, and night they just like to hang around doing their thing.
Fortunately for us, we also have a lot of neighbours who line up every spring to get their grubby little gardening hands on that big, slippery, stinky mess in our corral. They come with their pick-up trucks, their wheelbarrows, their rakes and shovels, their gloves and boots, and set to work. Everyone complains about this gardening discipline. Everyone hates the smell, the mess, the slipping and sliding, the pain in their back as they heft and shovel, rake and toss, and contemplate the unloading and necessary work involved in preparing their gardens for planting.
Come late August and early September, however, their groans and complaints have turned to smiles and pride as they freeze and can and pickle the fruits of their labours, which have all benefited from the messy, hard job they disciplined themselves to undertake in the early spring.
Yes, no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. I think we can all agree on this truth. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. The big question here, however, is, will we allow the blessing of God's discipline to train us, or will we just keep wallowing around in the muck of our own arrogance and stubbornness, slipping and sliding and getting nowhere? The choice is ours.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that Your discipline is always for our best. As difficult and messy as it may sometimes seem, when we submit our will to Yours and allow our hearts to accept and learn from You, we are indeed blessed with spiritual growth and peace. For this, we praise and thank You. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.