My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom He receives. No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:5-6,11
I had a dream the other night. It was as if I could hear God say, “Come out!” And I’ve been mulling over that command… come out. What could He mean? Of course writing is the first thing that comes to mind because I decided to put it aside a mere twenty-two days ago. Oh, I had good reasons. The blog became too big for me. All consuming. Everything else was taking a back-seat. Namely, my household responsibilities. And more importantly, the issue of disciplining my child. Or shall I say lack of discipline. My firstborn. That’s when I felt a bit of discipline myself at the hand of my Heavenly Father. My journal proof of the errant child I was by my jotting down, “I feel grounded.” And perhaps that’s just what He did. Grounded me. God put me in time-out. A little sit down till I could regain perspective. And so, maybe, just maybe… my time is at hand. Because I heard Him clearly the other night. My Father said, “Come out!”
Be Sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Nature and timing provide the perfect backdrop to this season of my life. See, the last thing I wrote aligned with Daylight Saving Time. Afterward, I thought I was poised to spring forward along with my clock. And yet, here I sit. Stalled. Stilled. And delayed. Instead of moving forward, I find myself in a period of discipline and change. But today I know why. It has to do with the month all things. Because I’ve heard it said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. And the imagery of March illuminates this wayward daughter’s actions.
Yes, March and all its elements come in like a roaring lion, seeking what it can devour. March is loud in its entrance of blustery winds and frigid temperatures. Ice and pelting sleet. Storms. March’s extreme weather seems to have conquered all leaving behind only bleak land. However, quiet miracles take place underneath. For overnight, yellow jonquils defy the odds jutting through frozen earth anyway. And by the time the end of the month rolls around, once bare branches are adorned with lime green and brilliant red. And oh, the blessed sound of peeping peepers and chirping birds. Before we know it, Winter has transitioned to Spring. Cold turns to warm and barren turns to flowering. Blustery winds replaced by mild and balmy. What once seemed dead comes alive with color and sound.
And so today, I gain perspective. I see clearly for March is a picture of me. Because at the onset of this writing venture, I came in like a lion. Loud. Forceful. Unyielding and rigid. Cold and hard. And prideful. A lion’s pride… I am woman, hear me roar! Thus, my time-out. My grounding. My stillness. See, just as Spring undergoes the miracle of transformation, God expects no less of me. His child. But the change has to happen on the inside first. Before beauty and color is seen on the outside, a quiet miracle must take place deep down.
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:4
When I came home four and a half years ago, I was a big mouth. I had an opinion about everything and was eager to share it. Because in my mind, I was right. I even developed a terrible habit of talking right over people. See, for the first time I had something to say. I thought I had something to offer. Such a change from the young girl who left at nineteen. The one who had nothing to say.
As time progressed, I became loud. Dare I say shouting? Yes, shouting. At home. When I completely lost my cool, I’d raise my voice. Time constraint is what brought on the pressure. And it was my little boy who endured the brunt of my loudness. You know what jolted me awake? Isaiah 42:2-3. It says Christ did not cry out or shout or make His voice heard in the streets. He did not break a bruised reed or put out a smoldering wick. It was this passage that helped me comprehend how utterly anti-Christ I’ve been in this manner. The total opposite of Him, who was quiet and gentle.
He was oppressed and afflicted, and yet He did not open His mouth. Like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep silent before her shearers, He did not open His mouth. Isaiah 53:7
And so, I was put in time-out. He wanted me to be still so I could see clearly. And so that inner things could happen. And in the quiet, I find my life begins to mirror the Spring that occurs outside my windows. My inside transforms alongside the outdoors. I came in like a lion. But loudness and forcefulness are transitioning to quietness. Pride is replaced by humility. And an unyielding spirit morphs to a malleable one… all this happening as Winter submits to Spring. As I submit to Him.
And God is impeccable in His timing. For today is the last day of March. Easter will be here in just a few days. And I think for the first time in my whole life, Easter will really rise in my heart this time. Because I can’t help but have this feeling I’m on the cusp of something big. Something new. For Easter will usher in a new age for me. It will be the era of the Lamb.
Behold, the lamb of God… John 1:29
Funny thing about my recent time-out. I thought it commenced on March 9 when I put this blog aside. But today, I realize it goes back further. In fact, to the very beginnings of this writing venture. It has to do with my actions just before. And something I said. I even know the date… February 10, 2013. That’s when I dared utter something so haughtily. So arrogantly. So forcefully. And loud. “I can’t just sit here for two years…” No, in my mind I had too much self-import. But today, just over two years later, I know the truth about God. And me. Only in hindsight is it crystal clear. It’s almost like He said, “Yes you will, little girl. If I say you’ll sit in time-out for two years, that’s exactly what you’ll do.” And it appears I did.
But see, I have hope. For today is March 31. The month is pretty much over. Oh, it came in like a lion. Just like me. But it proves to be going out like a lamb. And me? Well, I’m pretty sure I heard my Father say, “Come out!” I think my chastening is over. At least for now. The real test, though, will be how I exit my time-out. Will I leave the same way I entered, like a lion? Or will I come out changed? Like a lamb…
Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying. Look! The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has been victorious so that He may open the scroll or even to look at it.” Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb… Revelation 5:5-6