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.
It’s that little part that reads, “Later on…” that gets me.
Those two words rile my sin nature, makes me want to shake my fist, expel an exasperated sigh and beg along with King David, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?” (Psalm 13:1a)
But that whine holds all the appeal of a petulant child awaiting Christmas morning, eager to rip the wrapping off her gifts.
I just prefer to know how long is long. You know, like those phone messages I hear when I’m told exactly how many callers are ahead and then given an estimated wait time…
“There. Are. Four. Callers. Ahead. Of. You. Wait. Time. Eleven. Minutes…
Knowing the parameters of ‘Later on’ allows me to breath easy.
Thing is, God doesn’t concern Himself with my ability to breathe easy nearly so much as my need for discipline. He sees and know my heart, the dross that’s there, marring His image.
Being omniscient, He knows just how hot life needs to become in order to remove it.
After what has felt like a never-ending season of financial hardship, I’m on the flip side of ‘Later on’. Granted spiritual hindsight, I appreciate and embrace the sweetness of the abundant harvest of righteousness and peace that’s come…and is slowly still coming.
God has had it prepped and waiting. For ‘later on’.
On the flip side of discipline, any fear for the future has now been replaced with the assurance He holds a prosperous and hope-filled future in His capable hands. (Jeremiah 29:11)
On the flip side of discipline, I have eyes to see the needs of others, a heart that cares with greater authenticity, and a desire to assist where able…in much the same way others have done for us over the past several years.
God is a good Father Who disciplines for our good, that we may share in His holiness. (Hebrews 12:10) The discipline He exacts before the glorious ‘later on’ isn’t a random act of hardship with no end or purpose in mind.
The ‘later on’ is granted when the lesson is learned.
What about you? Are you in the midst of discipline? Or enjoying the sweet side of “Later on’?