Endure hardship as discipline
I just had an epiphany. Rather, God revealed a very important truth in His word to me. So incredible and vital to my life right now is this truth that I seriously want to jump up and shout for joy. However, Mazie is sleeping so I shall refrain from any joyous outbursts but please know, I am shouting on the inside! So, here it is.
“Endure hardship as discipline.” Hebrews 12:7 Here I have been living in CO for the last year and one half going through a little pity party every other month because I think my life is not as awesome as it used to be. I don’t have an amazing trainer and jumping facility 5 minutes from my house, not a Starbucks for 80 miles, no fun, touristy downtown in which to shop, no horse shows less than 3 hours away, my incredibly landscaped yard is back in Texas, my friends are miles and miles away, and there aren’t any cool movie theaters, malls, or cafes where I can spend more than a few bucks that I, for the moment, do not have. Now I am not saying that I hate where I live, that the ranch is not fun or that I don’t like living close to family. I love all of that, but I also love all the aforementioned luxuries. As Kirk called me not long after meeting me, I’m “a citified country girl”! My epiphany is that I am to endure hardships (which let me clarify, a hardship is not living 80 miles from Starbucks) as discipline. And discipline is for my good! As much as I hated it beginning in early childhood, deep down I’ve always known it was for my good.
“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness . . . Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level the paths for your feet’, so that the lame may not be disabled but rather healed.” Hebrews 12:10b, 12-13. Oh me oh my! This is so true! When I stop and look back on all the hardships the last year and one half has brought, I see some major changes within myself that are so good. So good in fact, that it is only by the grace of God. So good that I would endure the hardships and tears all over again. However, I must be honest and admit that I have thrown my share of two year tantrums and I have not handled the majority of it well. Nevertheless, through His mercies that are new every morning, He has picked me up, loved me, forgiven me, and brought me to far greater heights than I could have ever imagined in spite of me. Oh I am still far, far from perfect, but everyday I am one day closer to sharing in His holiness into which He leads me.
I used to laugh at how I can be so simple in some ways. I love a gorgeous sunset. I love watching Mazie run with her little arms swinging. I love riding my horse and letting her run wide open. But I realized I’m not simple in the way the world defines it. I’m being loved through each sunset, through my child, through the sheer joy of riding by an awesome God. The God who created the universe for my enjoyment and me for His. In Zephaniah 3:17 it says “He takes great delight in you.”
I discipline my sweet girl for her benefit and my God disciplines me for my good. I want the benefits of His discipline because I’ve seen the tragedy and destruction I can bring to my life when I am in control. My own decisions can lead to poor choices and depression, but His mold me into a better person, a more peaceful person, a more self-contolled person, a more loving and generous person. “Endure hardship as discipline.” I may have to re-read my own blog occasionally to remind me of my response: I’m in.
Be blessed wherever He has you right now. In whatever season you are in I pray that He grants you joy and peace.