Growing up, my dad seldom disciplined me. For starters, he was barely home to notice my transgressions, and he just didn’t appear the type to mete out discipline. The brunt of disciplining fell on my mother. However, I remember vividly the day my dad chose to discipline my elder brother and I. Perhaps the discipline was oh so unbearable or maybe because it was such a rare occurrence, that incident stood out in my life. What I recall most was that after the pain, my dad went out and purchased candy for my brother and I. That act informed my young heart that though my brother and I were in the wrong, my dad still loved us.

On more than one occasion, we read of Israel being exiled to a foreign land and becoming slaves to their captors. Yet, we always see God rescuing them again and again, bringing Israel back to the promise land – many times more prosperous than they were when they were captured or their city laid waste. God’s commandments were disobeyed, Israel faced the consequences, but each time, God rescued them from their afflictions and brought them back to the place where He placed His name. His love compels Him to discipline. Parents could tell their children how the Lord gave them up to foreign nations because of their transgressions, but yet how He gloriously rescued them with a mighty hand. Children could be rest assured of God’s love for them, even in their darkest nights.

I imagine you do not enjoy disciplining your beloved children, especially when the discipline is physical. More than it hurts the child to be disciplined, it hurts you who is meting out the discipline. Imagine again, your little toddler trying to cross the road with incoming traffic at his/ her heels. You don’t sit still on the porch and say lovingly to the child: “Now come on Johnny, you ought not to cross the road, the cars are going to hit you. Johnny darling, come back here will you?” No, you run towards the child,  yank him/ her from the road, with tears streaming down your eyes, yelling: “Johnny, don’t you dare do that again”. It’s love that compels you to do that. You would rather carry out the discipline today than allow law enforcement officials do so tomorrow. That is how your heavenly Father feels when He disciplines you. He does not enjoy it, but His love for you compels Him to do so. Don’t reject God during times of discipline, embrace Him and be drawn to His heart. He loves you. His discipline is the very proof that you are His child and that your future in Him is bright.

… My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth , and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth . – Hebrews 12:4-6