Discipline Lesson

I was reading Yahoo today and saw how Sergio Garcia got heckled at the US Open. About a month ago he made a remark about Tiger Woods that he’d serve him some “Fried Chicken.” Well since then, Sergio has suffered the consequences of his public remark and apologized for it. But as he was about ready to tee off on the eleventh tee, someone in the crowd yells “Fried Chicken!”

The guy in Philly who said that was questioned. Sergio says he feels real bad about his remarks to Tiger but the Philadelphian man stated, “You got to let him know.” How about that for being in the city of Love?

Whatever you think about Sergio’s remark and this fan’s statement, there’s no question in my mind that Sergio being disciplined, by this man, isn’t about redemption or love. It’s about “payback.” And apparently it has disrupted his game.

Personal storms can be like the rain falling on the just and the unjust. They’re a part of shaping us and everyone will face them. But there can be personal storms that aren’t of our doing—not like Sergio Garcia’s to say the least—which make us wonder why in the heck we’re in them. Ever been there? I have.

Job was in one like that. Without going into the story most of us, if not all know, he finally got to the place where he questioned God. Why? What’s going on? It hurts! I don’t get it!

Listen to the LORD answering Job.

“Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” Job 38:1-5

“Brace yourself like a man….!” Job is going to understand this discipline is coming from God and is redemptive; not punitive. Simply and clearly, he’ll learn that real men, embrace and go into the chaos and uncertainty of pain which comes our way—without any of our doing.

As hard as it is when we figure out that God is the one disciplining, he’s still a good father who redemptively disciplines those he loves. Even Jesus had a moment when on the cross he said, “My God, why have you forsaken me.” Only, his storm wasn’t about being disciplined. It was about loving you and me by being willing to die for our sins. Yet, even on that cross, Jesus had to trust the Father.

Minding the gap, in a storm of not our doing, is to trust God because he is in control. Job learned this and here’s his reply.

“I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes. After this, Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years.” Job 42:2,6, 16,17

No man can manage God, even if we question his love. Job got that, and learned in time to remain faithful because God is faithful. I think our hope is to come out of the storm like Job did, but sometimes, let’s face it; that might not happen until heaven.

The hope! There’s an eternity of no storms ahead of us in the presence of Jesus.