Sunday, April 7, 2013

No pain, no gain

Our preacher preached a great message this morning on God loving you so much that He punishes you. The title of this post kept going through my head. No pain, no gain. If God didn't love us, He wouldn't care about us. Therefore, since He does love His children, He does care about them, and He does punish them when they need it. So, it is also true, that if you aren't a child of God, then He wouldn't punish you. That just made me so happy to hear that again.
It was those words that got me to realize when I was 16 years old that I was not a child of God. I was a brat and got away with doing all sorts of sinful things...and I never got punished for it by either my mom nor dad, but worse, I also didn't get punished by God. I wasn't His child. I belonged to satan and God doesn't punish other folk's kids. How did I become a child of the devil? It wasn't hard. I didn't have to do anything. I was born into sin and that's where I stayed until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord.
There have been many, many times that I have felt the stinging punishment of the Lord. Why? Because He loves me and knows just what I deserve. Do you think that it makes God a big meany? You are so wrong. It makes God a loving and caring Father of His children.
If I had been allowed to have all of the children that I wanted to have, I would have been so full of pride about what a great mom I was. If the one child that I do have was allowed to be "normal", I wouldn't have her with me every day (a very special blessing). If I had been allowed to make a career of being a para-educator, I would not be able to serve the Lord and others like I can. If I had been allowed to have perfect health and never had to deal with fibromyalgia nor athritis nor mental illness, I would be so full of my self that I would choke. I wouldn't have any empathy nor sympathy for anyone.
I have to admit that when I went through God's "spanking machine" I hated it. I thought that God was punishing me for some wicked thing that I had done. I believed that God hated me and wanted to remove all joy from my life. I thought He wanted to ruin me. I was mad and there were times when I yelled at the LORD. However, I needed to be reminded today that God punishes me because He loves me and cares so much about me. He knows all about me from before I was conceived to all eternity. As I look back on the last thirty years, I can see His love and care in every situation. He has changed me and made me into a woman that I never could have imaged that I could become.
The truth and the blessing are the fact that there is no gain in the life of a christian without going through the pain.

PS, Please don't misunderstand. There are times and I believe that many of the time, the pain that we endure is caused my our own actions. You know the old saying, "If you play with fire, you will get burned." And one of my mom's favorites, "If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas."
Don't think that God punished you when you did it to yourself. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the extra pain I am experiencing in my knees is my fault because I have been overeating again. That pain is my doing and if I don't lose some weight, I will have to bear the consequences.
So, if I was you, the first thing I would do is to take inventory and find out if your pain is coming from punishment from God or is it of your own doing. If it is of God, then rejoice that He loves you and cares so much about you. If it is of yourself, then take steps to make things right. If you aren't receiving any punishment of the Lord, then you need to right now pray and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to be your saviour and to cleanse you of your sins. God bless!