“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
As a young boy I remember listening closely to the reports of the rescuer’s progress as they fought rock, equipment failure and time to rescue 18-month-old Jessica McClure from a well shaft in Midland, TX.
On October 14, 1987, Jessica was left alone for just a few minutes in her aunt’s backyard. She dangled her feet over an innocent-appearing, eight-inch opening in the ground. When she tried to stand up, she fell into darkness. With one leg up and the other down, Jessica was wedged in the narrow shaft above the water but some twenty-two feet below the ground.
Rescuers drilled a 29ft vertical shaft parallel to the well and then bored a 5ft long horizontal tunnel through solid rock to reach her. It took 58 hours to make contact with Jessica. Medical personnel grew nervous about her condition, fearing dehydration and shock.
Finally, the rescuers reached Jessica but could not pull her out. The position of her wedged body foiled all their efforts. The health care workers checked her vital signs and then issued these awful orders: “Pull hard! She does not have more time. You may have to break her to save her.” The rescue workers pulled hard one last time. Jessica came free without additional injury.
The Bible says that we are all just like Jessica. As the great hymn (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing) says, we are “prone to wander” and “leave the God we love”. We all are like sheep that continually go astray and find themselves in great danger.
God loves us too much to let us go. God loves us too much to let us perish in our sin. God knows that we need to be rescued. God knows that until we realize the error of our way we will never come back home to Him. Because He loves us so much, He allows us to experience the pain and hurt that results from our wandering away from Him.
He doesn’t do this to be mean but rather because He loves us and wants the best for us. God will go to the greatest lengths to save us from our sin. He is willing to break us if that is what is required to save us. God is willing to hurt us if that is what is required to heal us.
God is not interested in “getting even” with us. God’s purpose is to rescue us, redeem us and restore us in every way.