The Bible tells us God disciplines those whom He loves. Like the deer family told below, we too need training in obedience sometimes. We’re better off accepting God’s training than pulling against it. We can trust that He wants the best for us because of His great love.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES By Sally Bair
One of my favorite books is The Gift of the Deer by Helen Hoover. It tells about the exploits of three generations of deer which the Hoovers fed at their cabin near the boundary waters of Minnesota. One particular episode is an excellent example of how children learn by discipline.
As usual, Peter, the buck, guarded his mate, Mama, and their twin fawns, Pig and Brother, while they fed in the clearing. After a time, Peter signaled Mama who tapped Brother on the neck to take over guard duty. Brother, young and inexperienced, guarded his family with obvious nervousness. When his turn ended, Mama went over and licked his nose.
And then it was Pig’s turn to guard. Pig acquired his name honestly. His main interest was food, but stubbornness ruled his actions, too. With Peter watching him furtively while eating, Pig guarded the others with obvious reluctance. When Peter and Brother had their backs turned, Pig sneaked around Mama and went for the food.
Peter suddenly charged Pig, giving him a swat on the rear with his front hooves, and took chase. No match for his big, powerful dad, Pig fell behind. Peter whirled around and, front hooves raised, threatened the fawn. Pig fell down, scrambling up to take his neglected post to guard his family.
We recognize that such teaching and disciplining on the part of Peter and Mama could mean the difference between life and death for the family. Similar teaching and disciplining of our own children also brings good results. Proverbs 13:24 says: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”
A parent’s loving discipline is modeled after God’s loving correction. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest his correction; for whom the Lord loves he corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11)
God promises to deal with us as with sons—as Peter did with Pig—through discipline. Whether it comes as conflicts, trials, sufferings, troubles or even persecution because of our faith in Christ, discipline is necessary if we are to remain in God’s family.
Lord, we want to be worthy and fit for your Kingdom. We want you to treat us as your children—like Peter did with Pig. Give us the willingness and strength to endure your discipline. In Jesus’ name, amen.