Today’s Scripture readings: Psalms 6 & 12, Jeremiah 15:10-21, Philippians 3:15-21, John 12:20-26
Today’s writer: Charles Strohmer
What struck me when I read Psalm 6 was David’s deep anguish over being disciplined by the Lord. Apparently it was so severe that he thought he might even die as a result (v. 5). We don’t talk much about God the Disciplinarian during Lent, perhaps because our gaze is focused on what our Lord has done for us and not on our own suffering. But maybe, like the psalmist, we should talk about it.
The Father disciplines those he loves, although you never know for “how long, O Lord, how long” will this last (v. 3)? I’ve been in God’s woodshed more than once, sometimes for extended periods, usually after having devised the most sophisticated “biblical” self-talk to fend off the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit about particular sins. But who can fence with God?
Woodsheds are places of anguish, places where the soul grieves and cries to God, and most of all, places where hope is needed. Let’s talk about that, too. For even grievous discipline is not the end of the story for the Father’s children. And so, in deep pain and great darkness, David discovers the faithfulness of God and hope arises. The Lord has heard my weeping, my cry for mercy, my prayer (vv 8-9).
No child of the Father’s gets a free pass to holiness. Such discipline is part of what our Lord has done for us. If you know someone who is in anguish, think about sharing the hope of the Father’s faithfulness to you when you were under his discipline. Someone may need reminding, even during Lent.