Chester let out a mournful wail as it slammed shut in front of him.
Chester cannot go outside…and it grieves him to the bottom of his soul.
He looked up at me and his countenance asked “What did I do”?
His world has shrunk to the size of one room and he wonders what he has done to be punished so.
He doesn’t understand, he can’t understand, that his confinement is for his own good.
It sure doesn’t feel good to him.
I try to comfort him and assure him he isn’t in trouble, but the comprehension gap between us makes that effort futile.
My guess is that many of us often feel like Chester.
We ask God, “What did I do”?
Life hurts and it seems we’ve been confined to failure and divine discipline.
Now, there are times when we are being disciplined by God.
In fact, He says that one of the ways we know we belong to Him is if He disciplines us.
If that’s the case, though, you won’t have to ask what you did…the Holy Spirit will convict you of your sin.
You’ll know what you did.
God is not a capricious parent who decides to take you to the woodshed just in case you may do something wrong.
Gods discipline for His kids is always rehabilitative, not retributive.
In other words, its for your good to help you change, not to batter you in anger.
He poured out His anger on Christ, so He could pour out grace to you.
Most of the time, you didn’t do anything wrong, at least not wrong enough to merit divine discipline.
You aren’t being punished for being bad, you’re being conformed to the image of Jesus for your good and His glory.
There is no way to conform us into that image without suffering.
Suffering, by nature, doesn’t feel “good”.
He doesn’t explain to us the “why”…the gap between our understanding and His is greater than between Chester and me.
Our suffering is often inexplicable, but it’s never an expression of God’s wrath.
He’s simply making you look like your big Brother.
Jesus asked for another way too…but there wasn’t one.
He says it will be worth it all in the end.
Hang on…pretty soon your door will be open and you can go out with joy again.
He’s not angry with you.