This silly sheep disliked shearing so much that he hid in a cave for six consecutive seasons to avoid the ordeal. With the sixty extra pounds of wool he could barely move! Life was getting a bit difficult and it was probably with a sense of relief that he finally gave up and allowed himself to be sheared. Without shearing, that wool fleece becomes heavy, soiled and unhealthy.
In today’s verse there is a harvest, not of wool but of righteousness and peace. This harvest requires a process that can be as uncomfortable as shearing. The Lord’s discipline is unpleasant and painful. But for the believer it is not a question of punishment. Jesus took on Himself that punishment on the cross. Discipline is love in action and a sure sign of belonging to Him. (verse 8) Just as a father lovingly disciplines his son, so the Lord corrects and trains through discipline. (verse 9)
When I am experiencing something negative in my life, I can sometimes wonder if it is a “trial” or “discipline.” But usually it is clear. I am like that three year old who looks sideways at the parent to see if he is watching. There is rebellion in my heart when I refuse to acknowledge that something is wrong. When I stubbornly continue my behavior the Lord lovingly corrects me for my good. When I finally give up what I know is wrong, that heavy weight on my back is lifted! Like the newly shorn sheep, I can run and jump and move with ease! Peace and righteousness feel good!
Thank you Lord, for Your loving correction.
(Look familiar? This is a re-post due to summer ministry schedule.)