in your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
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.
Endure hardship as discipline, God is treating you as sons….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.
we’ve developed a habit lately, with two adolescents in the home, of talking though the messages being internalized upon rebuke. over and over and over again we must repeat; “you are loved, you are wanted in this family, you belong, you are not a disappointment.” can you ever think of a time when you were rebuked and the message you internalized from it was; “you are loved, you are wanted in this family, you belong, you are not a disappointment?” i didn’t think so. our default is to think the opposite-i wonder why that is.
the Lord knows this, and like us with our teens, He over and over and over again repeats;
I Am, I know. I love you. Repent.*
we were in the midst of hardship. it was a season of stress; another trip to the ER with our older boy thanksgiving day, clean-up work up on the property, all that is involved with 3 little ones, packing for a move to an unknown location and what if Jeremy gets laid off?
the truth of being both loved and known gave me oxygen. His word gave me strength. Believing He had an ‘exact time and place for man to live’ gave me courage. the challenge to endure hardship as discipline gave me hope.
i previewed the rentals available w/in our limited budget, and then narrowed it down for jeremy and i to revisit on his days off. this was challenging for me still in that state of fear of making decisions and doubt in hearing from God. i had to cling with all my strength to the fact of God’s ability to direct us anyway.
i arrived at one particular rental before the property management lady did, but the tenant welcomed me in. it was tiny, built sometime around 1900, old wooden windows, but there were lots of them and they were tall. the ceilings were high and light flooded in. i felt like i could breathe for the first time in a long time. the tenant showed me his favorite features and seemed to pick up on my emotions; “it’s small, yes, but it has a good feeling to it doesn’t it?” he, of course, had no idea that there were 5 of us, to his 1. logically, it didn’t make sense. the 2 bedrooms were small, one might fit our bed in it, the other i wasn’t sure a twin bed would even fit. plus, it was right downtown, a complete opposite to what we’d been immersed in over the past few years. even the basement we’d been renting was outside city limits with lots of space. i dismissed it, and went along with the property management lady to the next place on the list.
but i couldn’t shake that house. when Saturday came, this house made the cut.
this little house drew us all in and we had a hard time explaining why. that office could hold the bunk bed, jeremy would build a platform and make it a triple-bunk. a galley kitchen and sun porch for our ‘dining room’. a stacked apt. sized washer/dryer was in the small and very pink bathroom. that would take a bit of adjusting for me, but i was willing. the trees were big and the yard fenced with alley access and the library a few blocks away. so much of this house looked just as crazy as the yurt, but we’d make it work. with trembling hands, we signed a lease and prepared to move.
i did panic and i drove by often asking the Lord to please please please tell us if this was a big mistake. i packed and got rid of stuff and tended the kids, which was a nice distraction. i was hopeful and excited and terrified all at the same time.
looking back now, i can see so much discipline gained from living in that little house. i can also see the joyful harvest that came as a result of being trained by it. we adjusted to this new normal, regrouped, and lived life. we discovered our place and our passions and our selves. we came to know our Father’s heart and our own hearts better. that house served us well, and we were happy there.
*to draw further in: Revelation 1-3