The Pain of Love

Posted by Kurt Scobie on January 17, 2015

My church is in the middle of our "21 Days of Prayer and Fasting" which we get to participate in every January. It is a time to hit the reset button and press in to what God is saying and doing in our lives and in our world. I have participated in the fast before, but this year seems especially difficult.

If you have ever fasted (or seriously dieted), you know that there is physical pain that you experience on a daily basis.

I have given up a lot of the foods that I love, including pizza. The other night I was really craving pizza, so much so that I dreamed that I broke the fast by eating a hot, cheesy, greasy, magnificent slice of pepperoni. I remember eating it, and then feeling horribly guilty for not finishing the fast that I started. Thankfully, I woke up soon after.

It can be painful to submit to the discipline that fasting requires. Even more painful is the prayer part of it. Especially when God doesn't seem to be answering.

Yet, I am pressing on.

As the scriptures say in Hebrews 12, God disciplines those he loves. Through prayer and fasting God requires a higher standard, so that we can become more like Him and enter into a sweeter communion with Him.

Our culture is so drenched in quick fix and instant gratification mentality that we forget that God's timing is not our timing. His timing often seems to be much slower (though, our prayers are sometimes answered in a split second). I definitely have some prayers I'd like answered very soon (who doesn't?), but, ultimately, I trust that God knows best.

Yes, the journey has plenty of pain and hunger pangs. Being divinely disciplined by God is not usually fun. However, who we become through the various processes and trials and tests is well worth the pain.

Enjoy the pain of God's discipline. He only disciplines his beloved children.

"As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?...  No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong." Hebrews 12:7, 11-13 NLT