"And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? 'My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.' It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" Hebrews 12:5-9 ESV
Did we all have father's like this? Perhaps not. Correction in a safe environment is a very beautiful place where wisdom and acceptance are mixed together. A place of limited or diminished danger but where experience is imparted because of care. Grace creates a zone of safety.
We have all been in situations where correction meant danger. Fight or flight kick in. We must defend ourselves against the adversary. We must win. It is kill or be killed. A job might be at stake. The spot on the team might be lost and the scholarship that goes with it if we show weakness of any kind.
Not with God. Oh no... Not with God. God fosters an atmosphere of learning in safety. At our worst God wants us. Grace invited us in at the height of our disqualification and showed us the power of love to give us a place of rest.
If I sense danger the urge to hide or resist can be there quite quickly and learning or turning gets put on the back burner.
"And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." Proverbs 5:12-14 KJV
We can look back at the things that people tried to teach us and regret that we didn't receive them. We were so consumed with our self in avoidance or resistance that the lesson came later when it could have been sooner.
"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? " 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ESV
Grace is dangerous to the natural man because it removes the illusion of complete autonomy, self-reliance and solitary accountability. Grace provides safety to the one who can rest in a love they could never earn.
Grace removes the measuring stick that causes us to fear anything that would make us feel we fall short and reveals people who love and honor one another. Everyone becomes someone we can learn from. God is someone who has something we need and we are safe enough to get it from Him in humility.
There will need to be adjustments today. Changes in course and places where we must change our minds... or let them be changed... if we are going to adapt and grow. If we stand in grace that won't ruffle us... adaptation can happen in a fluid way.
God teach us today... you are our gracious father and there is so much we can learn from You today.