Luke 18:14b For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Having four children, my time with the Lord is often “shared” with one of them. This morning, as I opened the Word and began to pray to hear from God, I felt my four year old, Clara, snuggle up next to me. Acknowledging her presence, I began to mindlessly stroke her lower leg as I initiated reading. In no less than fifteen seconds, she emphatically whispered, “Mommy please stop rubbing my boo boo; it hurts!” Then I remembered, Clara had fallen down a number of days earlier and rather than healing up, it had formed a large mangled scab.
I was giving her honest, heartfelt affection but it was received as pain. I personally don’t particularly like it when God lovingly strokes my “boo boos” either. My “boo boos” are those sensitive places caused by sin I may or may not have acknowledged but definitely have not dealt with. I let my sin fester, ignoring what God is asking of me and over time a scab develops. God in His great love, though, doesn’t allow that area of my life to stay wounded.
In Hebrews 12:4-11, we can read about God’s loving discipline towards those He counts as sons (and daughters).
- His discipline is initiated by something I’m doing (or for me probably refusing to do) – Verse 4
- His discipline is the outpouring of His love – Verse 6
- When he disciplines me He is treating me like He is truly my father – Verses 7 and 8
- I can choose to avoid discipline with a submissive heart – Verse 9
- God disciplines me to make me more like Jesus – Verse 10
- God’s goal of discipline is to raise a whole crop of righteousness in me – Verse 11
I wasn’t disciplining Clara when I touched her leg; I was merely expressing my love for her. When God disciplines me, He is doing the same.
That morning I was reading in Luke 18:1-23. Right in middle of this passage is a jewel of a scripture. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. “ When I humble myself, the strong, gentle arm of the Lord doesn’t need to stroke my boo boo because I’m already in a position to be healed. I’m taking my fresh wound cause by my sin to the Lord and seeking Him for restoration. Therefore, a scab never develops. Instead, He holds me in His arms, gently strokes me and I feel nothing but pleasure in His presence.