The Gardener Prunes
I share a true confession with you today.
I was arrested in high school.
A couple of my friends had heard that kids were going for late night swims at our community pool and thought it would be fun for us to try as well. However, it required scaling the pool wall, after hours. I was always the cautious one, so as my three friends were halfway up the wall, I was still on the ground.
“Are you sure we should do this?” I asked.
“Come on, Lisa.”
I gave in and began my ascent.
We didn’t make it very far because as we began to strip down to our bathing suits, three men in blue shirts emerged from behind trees and shouted, “Freeze! Police!”
Shouting was not necessary. We were so frightened by the unexpected visitors we were cemented in the ground.
We were hoping to receive a warning and go on our way, but the law enforcement officers didn’t let us off. We were trespassing, and the reason they were staking out the pool is because the night before there were vandals on the property. One of the officers, Roger Terry, was well known to us kids. He asked, “What would have happened if you girls had been here last night when the vandals were tearing up the place?” They hauled us off to jail, and after scaring the wits out of us (and watching me cry buckets of tears) they called our parents to pick us up.
As I look back on this incident, I realize this was a case of God’s holy discipline in my life because He disciplines those he loves.
When have you been disciplined by the Lord?
The most difficult stretches in my life are the ones where I have grown the most spiritually.
Deuteronomy 8:5 says, “Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.”
Like a gardener with a rose bush, our Holy Gardener prunes us so we can bear more fruit.
Many years after this incident, I was sponsoring a confirmation student at my church. Her name was Caitlyn Terry and I was supposed to sit with her and her family at the morning worship service. Before the service, her mom came up to me and asked, “Lisa, have you met Caitlyn’s dad, Roger Terry?” Immediately recognizing him, I blurted out, “You arrested me in high school!” This time it was Caitlyn and her mom’s expressions that froze.
As I sat in the pew that day, singing the song “Here I am Lord,” I marveled at the way God turned my life around 180 degrees, so much so that I was now praying for the child of the police officer who arrested me in high school. As I thanked my heavenly Father for his loving discipline and redemption, Officer Terry saw me weep again.
Today, will you thank God for his discipline in your life, even though it was painful? Sometimes tough love is needed in order to steer you into the right direction.