by Becky Hill Martin
My dad’s belt. I can see it hanging on the rotating rack along with the wide ties from the 70s. I can also feel its sting – more from my pride being hurt than my backside. My parents used that belt more than they ever wanted to. There was the time I fed my brother a glob of Dial soap and told him it was lemon candy. And, the time dad had to pull the car over because we were fighting in the back seat and didn’t listen when he threatened to do it the first 10 times.
Sometimes the dread of getting a spanking for my misdeeds was worse than actually receiving one. I would gladly endure that punishment any day over paying the price for breaking the old covenant, like getting kicked out of Israel’s camp because of a skin condition (Num. 5:2) or death for burning the wrong kind of fire before God (Num. 3:4).
When I fall short of God’s will, I expect Him to discipline me the same way my parents did. They did it out of love. They hoped I would learn and become better for it. Being corrected by God doesn’t mean He wants me to suffer. It’s proof that He loves me enough to yank me back onto the right path.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for loving us so much that you want to draw us closer to you when we stray. And, although we don’t enjoy being disciplined, help us look forward to the many good things that discipline will produce.