Devotional: June 16th
Sibling spats are nothing new. They have been going on since the dawn of time. Recently, a mother of three was talking with me about her difficulty in controlling her children's internal wars. After talking with her I began to remember the skirmishes that my late sister, Peggy, and I used to get into. We had some doozies, but one in particular stands out.
I was all of ten years of age. My family and I were heavily involved in the church life of the Jeffersonville Church of Christ in Jeffersonville, Ohio. As it usually happened, Sundays were a chore for my parents as it was that day that Peggy and I were normally at each other's throats arguing. One Sunday was no different. My sister had gotten ready before me and we were hard at it. Mom told Peggy to go sit in the car until time to go so that she and I would not be around each other for at least that amount of time.
Peggy went to the car and began filing her fingernails with a metal fingernail file. When Mom, Dad and I came out she had plotted a course of action that would stay in the family lore for years. I opened the passenger's door on the driver's side of Dad's '56 Olds and flopped down on the seat. As I dropped to the seat, Peggy reached over and held the fingernail file right underneath me. Somehow, miraculously, the sharp pointed end of the file never hit flesh but ripped a large hole in the seat of my pants as I jumped up suddenly, screaming.
Mom was furious. She took me inside to change pants while Peggy was left alone in the car with an incensed Dad. When we finally left for church I had formulated my sweet revenge. After we had parked, Peggy, still wiping away tears, got out on her side of the car. Quickly I slid across the seat and started to get out on her side as she slammed the door shut without looking. I shoved my hand up against the door and started screaming at the top of my lungs. Peggy was sure that she had just shut the door on me and rushed to get it open. When she opened the door, I sat there laughing at her. Then Dad acted.
My Dad pulled me from the car seat and lifted me up under one arm into perfect spanking position and began flailing away. As I began crying at the punishment I saw my friends, Roger Garringer, Dennis Avey and the Sanderson girls, all watching and laughing. Dad saw them, too, and stopped. He set me down and looked at me and said, "That's good enough punishment for the day."
God deals with us in much the same manner. He allows us to receive things that are uncomfortable so that we can be reminded when we have been disobedient. "If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?" Hebrews 12:7 My father loved me and my sister. We know that because he chastened us. God loves us, too. So don't be surprised when, following a time of disobedience, things don't go perfectly right. God does chasten and you know He loves you.
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