Hebrews 12:5-8 says, “My son . . . and do not lose heart when He scolds you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he [corrects] everyone he accepts as his son.” . . . If you are not disciplined—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” NIV
My son Ian, 16, just got his ‘real’ driver’s license, and an ’88 Ford pickup. Along with the license and the truck he got a few hard fast rules to live by. FIRST RULE “keep your parents informed.” Second rule: Don’t drive near the HEB, the primary shopping area by our house. It’s dangerous: traffic accidents, teenage drivers and others not paying attention; cell-phones, texting and other distractions. Not a place for an inexperienced driver.
The other night, after supper, he says, “I’m going to go drive around just for fun.” He said he’d drive in the neighboring subdivision and be back in 25 minutes . We agreed. In 25 minutes he called. He said, “I’m down here across from the HEB and the truck won’t run.” When I arrived, I asked him about gas. Turns out he bought a little gas ($2.50 worth) 3 days ago. No wonder he ran out.
Then the question about driving near the HEB. “I only drove around the back of the HEB,” (technically not at the major intersection) He says. “Technically you’re grounded for a week,” I responded, “You knew you weren’t supposed to go there.” In the process we had several good lessons about 1] buying enough gas; 2] paying attention to how much you have, and 3] how to recover when you run out. All good things to remember. He took the grounding pretty well, considering .
Three days later, Saturday, Ian was home. My wife and I went to the store, thinking we would be gone about two hours. Turned out, we got home in an hour. The pickup was gone. We called. He said he’d be home in a minute. After the previous ‘out of gas’ event, he decided he would go fill up the truck, to make sure he had enough gas. He didn’t call because he thought he’d be back in a few minutes and nobody would know or care. But while he was at the station, a friend called him and asked for a ride, which Ian was more than happy to provide. He picked up the friend and drove him home. As he was about to leave the friend’s brother was leaving, and Ian offered to take him to the workout place nearby. As he was leaving the workout place, we called. When he got home we explained again, how important it is to keep your people informed. In order to make this clear, his grounding was extended for a week with no driving privileges. We said we are genuinely concerned for his safety and his welfare. Again, he took it pretty well, considering. At the time I explained that when you have a relationship with God, like Ian does, He’ll see to it that you get caught when you do something wrong. I speak from experience. Like Dolly Parton says in a song, “If you think that God won’t get you, you’re wrong.” He knows and He cares.
Then came the good part. I told Ian about that passage in Hebrews that talks about the “chastening of the Lord”. (That’s the KJV) In modern terms ‘chastening’ means “correction and discipline”. That passage is so right-on for this story. It says, “Don’t lose heart when you are scolded by God, for the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he [corrects] everyone he accepts as his son.” Did you get that? God corrects us because He loves us. God’s correction is proof that we are His children. It even confirms it by saying, “If you are not disciplined . . . then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” So take heart. Speaking to all you folks out there who really do trust God; He is still taking care of you; even when (or especially when) He corrects and disciplines you.