When I celebrated my birthday earlier this week, I looked forward to (and enjoyed!) the special times I had with my husband, family and friends. I loved using my birthday freebies at some of my favorite places. I had a massage and manicure. Ahhh…some of the relaxing I’ve rarely had a chance to do all year.
I also looked forward to whatever verse/quote of the day I’d get that day on my email, since I subscribe. Thinking the e-subscription would perfectly select a Rah, Rah, Rah, You Can Do Anything statement for that day, I instead got this:
“Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord, the one you teach from your law; you grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked.” Psalm 94:12-13.
Hmm. Okay. My birthday verse. Woop Di Do.
But then of course I realized what a gift this verse was to me. In this season of re-aligning my priorities, working on becoming healthier and more accountable in my weight loss effort, overcoming challenges and naysayers in my wider community, helping our kids with all their projects and completing some of the most important writing deadlines of my life and career thus far, discipline is exactly what I had been neglecting and exactly what I needed to hear about. God knew. Funny how He always does, isn’t it.
From the verse it’s clear that discipline goes hand in hand with teaching, with taking in foundational or difficult lessons — or perhaps being reminded of past lessons and re-learning them. It’s also clear that with discipline comes greater peace or “relief” in all circumstances — and victory over the worst around us, and in us.
Not sure I could ask for a better gift. In the light and wisdom of God’s love, discipline is the best gift.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee; I only design.
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.”
How Firm a Foundation