God is a good God. How do I know? Because there have been times when I have seriously done God dirty. And it's just sad because He doesn't ask for much. Obedience is pretty much it, coupled with exclusive devotion. It's not like He asks me to heal the physically diseased like Jesus did or to walk miles and miles across the desert in some thin, leather sandals to preach to the Texans or Californians. He's not asking me to go to Pakistan and face the al-Qaida in the likeness that He asked Moses to face the Egyptians. Nor is He asking me to eat only of the vegetation like He asked Adam and Eve to do in the garden. Jehovah God (J.G.) has given me so much and asked for so little in return. So it bothers me when I reflect and think about the times when I couldn't even give Him the time of day. There are specific situations that I can remember where I deliberately told Jehovah no and did whatever it was that I wanted to do. For example, J.G. told me not to get involved with certain people who did not feel the same way about God as I did. But did I listen? Nope. I thought that I could handle it. I thought that I was strong and big and invincible, but on the contrary, I was weak, small and destructible. To this day, I can feel the pain that I felt from getting involved way beyond what was required of me. It's a pain that I can not for the life of me seem to forget (which means that obviously I'm not supposed to). But when I think of all the consequences that I've suffered for trying to be big and bad and for deliberately disobeying J.G., I think of how refined I have become. Follow me for a second while I try to explain this. Por favor. Because I'm a female and into the pretty lady things like bags, makeup and nail polish, I think of myself like a fingernail. When I fail to take care of my nails, my nails become chipped and damaged. In the same way, when I fail to listen to J.G.'s counsel, I likewise become damaged and just plain ugly. My insides (heart, soul, mind, etc.) become just as tainted as my nails look, which is not a good look at all. So of course, when your nails become a hot mess, the first thing you do is look for a nail clipper or a nail file to refine them; to cut off and file down the cracks, chips and unevenness. Now, because I like long and healthy nails, I always become a little melancholy for the minute and a half when I find myself having to cut my nails down. It just sucks. But after I've done so, they look 100x better, and then I feel better again. The same is true with me. The consequences that I have to endure for being disobedient are like the friction that a nail file causes on a nail. The consequences for the most part are painful, especially since I may have to cut down or cut out some things, but after the refinment process is done, after I've gotten rid of the cracks, I look and feel so much better! Have you ever noticed that nails do not grow when they are damaged? Well I do not grow when I am damaged either. After the nails are cut and filed, it is a fact that they grow faster and stronger than before. In the same way, after I am disciplined and have dealt with the consequences, I can grow faster and stronger than before. I think the Bible says it best at Hebrews 12:11 when it reads, "True, no discipline seems for the present to be joyous, but grevious; yet afterward to those who have been trained by it it yields peacable fruit, namely, righteousness." Another translation says, "We don't enjoy discipline when we get it. It is painful. But later, after we have learned our lesson from it, we will enjoy the peace that comes from doing what is right." Notice how Hebrews 12:11 makes a promise. It says that afterwards, if we learn from it, we WILL have peace. Now that's a blessing. Even if we mess up, we can still have peace. In the words of baby Hilton, that's hot. Now of course that doesn't mean that we can keep disobeying and expect that later on you'll get that peace back. My man J.G. ain't no fool. He knows your heart and knows when you're playing Him.
So Jehovah, since I know You discipline the ones that You love, thank You for disciplining me. It let's me know that You have not left me out here to live in this craziness all by myself. And if You were to leave me, I wouldn't be as healthy, as cared for, and as fortunate as I am. Thank You for always being there. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.