Week 3 Thursday

Some Lessons Hurt

Today’s scripture selection: Job 5-6

Key verses: Job 5:17-18

     It’s a cliché with which we are all familiar: A father stands before his child, preparing to discipline him, and he says “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, but….”  And whether or not the discipline is a spanking or a little “time out” the end result is the same.  Sometimes lessons hurt, but they are necessary just the same.

     Well, I don’t know what your stance is on childrearing, but I hope you agree with the basic premise of that statement.  We all need to learn things in life that are necessary for our growth and our well being.  And I think it is in our basic nature to sometimes, perhaps many times, resist learning those lessons.  So sometimes – lessons hurt.

     Today’s scripture passage reminds us of this – but takes it to a whole new level.  No longer are we talking about some minor childhood infraction being corrected by Mom or Dad; now it is God who as work, seeking to bring correction – but also healing – to His children. 

     “Blessed is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

     There have been times in my life – more times than I like to admit – where I’ve had to learn some tough lessons.  I’ve made the wrong choices; I’ve put my own desires or perceived needs over others; I’ve been selfish or put some other things above God in life.  In other words, I’ve sinned.

     And in those times, God has allowed me to suffer the consequences, painful though they were.  It wasn’t fun; it wasn’t pretty; and it was costly.  But boy, did I need to learn the lesson.  And – in retrospect – I thank God that He loved me enough to let it happen, just that way.

     How about you?  Can you think of times when you “learned” the hard way?  Can you recall an experience where you lost something but, as a result, you gained something far more valuable?  Then maybe, just maybe, there was more than fate at work.  Maybe the God who loves you more than you know loved you enough to discipline and instruct you.  Give thanks for those times.  They may have saved your life.  And they may still.


Prayer: Loving God, thank you for caring enough to instruct me and even discipline me.  Help me to be a loving child, open to all the lessons you have for me.  AMEN.




By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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