when you feel like God is punishing you

photo-1467454815259-9176a7e143afMost of the time, I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing as a mom.

Especially when it comes to discipline. It’s like, I plan ahead how I will react in the moment, and I hope I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes it works and sometimes I abandon ship and do something totally off script. And most of the time, I’m wondering if it was the right thing to do.

Because our kids just think we’re being mean, right? We’re just trying to teach them consequences for their own actions and they just view it all as unfair. We’re doing our best to enhance their lives and help them turn out to be decent humans. And my little humans often just stomp away feeling like I’m treating them unfairly.

And I wonder so much if we have misjudged God in this way. Whenever something negative happens, whenever our plans don’t work out – when something we hoped for was halted: do we feel like we’re being punished?

Last week my son was sick and out of school for the whole week. And to be honest, my first reaction was “God, really?” I had a lot of stuff to get done. I had a very full schedule that had to be adjusted. And for my kids’ sake and my own, they need to go to school. The small people need a little break from one another to provide everyone with sanity.

When something negative happens, do we jump to the idea that God must be punishing us? Like, maybe He’s taken the day off?

There are certainly times where there are just straight up consequences for our own sin. And then there are the other times when we feel like we’re being punished or disciplined for no good reason.

Here’s what He has to say about it:

…Don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child He loves that He disciplines; the child He embraces, He also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? …God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.” [Hebrews 12:5-10 msg]

What feels like punishment may actually be a gift. 

The obstacles that feel like roadblocks, cutting off your success, may just be God’s loving hand attempting to slow you down or to teach you.

He waits and hopes that you will trust Him. God isn’t like us. He doesn’t wonder if He made the right choice. He isn’t wishing He had a do-over to teach us something again. He gets it right the first time, every time.

We often blame the enemy anytime something doesn’t go our way. And yeah, he’s out to get us for sure. And there is so much in this world that is just so dark and confusing. But God is for us. Even in the moments when we aren’t sure if He’s forgotten. In the moments when we feel like what’s happening to us doesn’t line up with who He says He is. In your time of question and pain and doubt, God is proving Himself faithful. He never gives into anything but the best.

He is the very best Dad. And you are His own.

God can handle our doubt and our questions. But we become drained and weary when we don’t trust Him. Because we were made for Him.

What would your life look like if you decided to trust Him? I mean, like, totally, 100%? When things don’t line up. When you can’t see where it’s headed. When you feel like you’re being disciplined. When someone gets sick. What if we committed to trust that God really is good, kind, loving, just, and faithful? It feels simple and small, but it’s everything. I’m in it with you.

 

God,

Would you help our unbelief? Would you strengthen our hearts to trust that You always know what You’re doing? We waver so much. And we’re so quick to judge Your intentions. Help us to trust You with it all. Help us to begin to grasp just how wide and long and deep Your love truly is for us. You are good, and we want to believe everything You say about us. 

 

But even if we are faithless, He will still be full of faith, for he never wavers in His faithfulness to us!” [2 Timothy 2:13]

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