Friday 15th December

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your own good, who leads you in the way you should go. Isaiah 49: 17b

learn adventThe phrase “It is for your own good,” often followed by, “You’ll thank me for it later.” Is one which millions of children have heard throughout the ages. At the time, so far as I remember, it makes you angry and resentful. Later in life, some or many, of the things which you were taught against you childhood will, come in useful.

I am not a Hebrew scholar but I do know that in Latin the words for “learning” and “discipline” come from the same original word. We often forget that, although we call ourselves disciples of Christ, that the word “disciple” is mostly the same word as “discipline”. Sometimes we really do not want to learn what God wants us to learn, especially when that learning challenges us on a deep or painful level.

I don’t think God is vindictive. I don’t think God sets out to “teach us a lesson” by causing suffering. I do think that when we are stubborn and refuse to listen we often find ourselves walking into walls of our own making. When we go out and tell the story of our faith, we are engaging in a conversation. Through that conversation we might be challenged and find that in that challenge God is trying to teach us.

Look for those places. Listen for that voice. Instead of walking on by with impatience that someone “just does not understand” stop and listen. God may already be there ahead of you.

Lord, help me to be have listening ears and an open heart. Let me to see each encounter as an opportunity to learn more about you, to embrace challenge, and to be transformed daily into your image.