I was talking to my neighbour recently.
He was telling me about his favourite hobby, horses.
John loves horses.
He learnt about horses from his father and other relatives who had been successful in breeding race horses that have won important events in world of horse racing.
He can tell me who was the mother and father of the recent winner of the Derby, “Australia.”
He is knowledgable about many horses that are winners.
He is hoping to have that big winner some day.
He owns five horses that graze in the field behind our home.
He rescued two of them from the “Knacker’s yard”.
That is where horses go that are no use any more.
They are rejects, too old, not profitable for their owners, or their owners cannot afford them in this climate of recession.
The horses belonging to my neighbour are sleek, tall, colourful, bright eyed and beautiful.
John hopes to train his best horse which will cost him some money.
The horse will live in a stable, eat food that will strengthen him, let someone ride on his back, and will have to suffer a few lashes of a whip in the process. Pain.
It will have to run miles every day to get used to running fast.
Not so pleasant as running free in a field, grazing grass.
It can no longer do its own will or want its own way.
It has to learn to obey its trainer and perhaps be successful in a race.
It can be of use to its master and win a race.
God likens one who is rebellious to an untrained horse, stubborn, self willed, running free, not under authority, not obedient, not knowing how to be useful or profitable.
The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. (Psalms 32:8 NLT)
Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” (Psalms 32:9 NLT)
“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. Oh, that my people would listen to me, walking in my paths! How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! (Psalms 81:11-14 NLT)
God in his mercy longs for us to seek him.
We may not suffer the consequences of our wrong doing in our lifetime, but it will manifest in our children after us.
Discipline or pain is not a popular word in our culture.
The doctor prescribes tablets to ease pain of mind and body.
A child left up to its own devises will be unruly and unpleasant to be around.
How much more so a grown up person who is not self controlled and chooses to do whatever one feels like.
Such a person will not be useful.
God our creator has made us and knows what is good for us and how best we can live.
The self has to die and that is painful.
I have learnt obedience through the things in my life that caused pain; heartache, sickness, and mental anguish.
I don’t want to be self willed or rebellious. I defer to others when making decisions. To live with others I seek to live in peace and listen. I have to put down that power in me that wants my own way.
Jesus was crucified. We have to crucify our selfish nature and live according to God’s word.
Like the trained horse, we often suffer pain in our lives to help us to choose the right way to go.