Severe Mercy

These past two and half months have wrought many instances of severe mercy.  Humility has been the order and grace of the day.  God bids me to kiss the rod.  The details do not matter so much as my attitude towards, and the reason and glory of, and questions answered by this divine humiliation, this discipline received as from Father to a son.  I pray for humility; but I do not immediately approve of it.  When I pray for humility, it is as if I think my Father won’t grant my request – though He delights to do so, particularly as it pertains to humility.  And humility requires that which humbles.  Confrontations, hard truths, retort, rebuke, reproof; it has been hard.  And, admittedly, I do not immediately cuddle it.  My attitude towards humility is at first disdainful.  And then I must ask, Why?  For what reason?  The answer returns suddenly, “Well, because of your pride.”  And as it is pride that ails me, it must be reckoned as a sinful attitude to humiliation, and cast off as that which is brutish and hellish, and servile of death.  And so I am inclined to inquire of the reasons for humiliation – why does God take such pains to humble me?  The answer is quite glorious – “Why, in order to legitimate my sonship.”  For the Father disciplines and humiliates those whom He loves, and so proves Himself to be my Father, and I, His son.  But a second answer comes – “Why, this also, that God endeavors to make me like His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.”  Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered; so I learn obedience through the Father’s appointed means of humiliation.  So he desires, by the lesson which offers humility, to conform me to the image of His Son.  And there is a third answer informed by a question – the question, “In what way does God intend to conform me to the image of His Son today by the means of humiliation employed?” and the answer, and this true to me this day, “A pure and undefiled religion!”  He says, “Christ is pure and undefiled; He looks after orphans and widows and kept Himself unstained from the world; that is, Christ embodied love and holiness, And, You must do the same, my son.”  When I ask my Father, what would you have for me to learn and resolve from these past seventy-five days, He would answer me this – take care to love the needy, and take care to live as holy.  There are a myriad of ways that God deems to make me like His Son, and thus, a myriad of humiliating lessons to be learned; but as the aim is to rid me of pride, and make me like the sun of righteousness, and in every circumstance, to work patiently with me on particular matters like love and holiness, so it behooves me to kiss the rod.  He is only treating me as a son.

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