No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 NIV
“This is the coolest hat I’ve ever had!”
That was the comment my son made years ago when he was in early high school. You would have to see the hat to clearly understand, but it had to be the ugliest hat I had ever seen. There was a new trend at the time with the teenagers to find the ugliest hat to wear. The most popular hats were the mesh back style (farmer’s hats) that were old, worn out, and would usually be found hanging on a back porch somewhere, having experienced many years of hard use. This particular hat had a blue bill and the mesh part was white. On the front of the cap was a “Tweetie Bird”. The hat just barely escaped being thrown away on several occasions due to its age and wear. My son, however, thought it was the “coolest hat” he’d ever had.
When he told me this the Lord gave me a great teaching moment. (When boys get 15 there are fewer and fewer of these times.) I asked him, “Jeremy, if I would have told you a year ago that this would be your favorite hat today, what would you have thought?”
“I would have thought you were crazy”, he said.
“So”, I continued, “in your wildest imagination, last year you could have never seen yourself liking this hat.”
“No,” he replied.
Then I went on to explain to him that this is the way it is sometimes when I had to discipline him or I gave him advice. At the time, it might not make sense. He may not always understand what I was doing…but one day…he would look back and see that my logic was well-founded.
It also served as a good teaching moment for me. God had something for me to learn too!
Sometimes, really many times, God has something for me to endure that I cannot understand. There seems to be no good benefit for the trial that I am enduring. Later on, however, the good God was seeking in my life will be more apparent. During the trial I will simply have to trust that God knows what He is doing.
Thank you, God, for teaching me through an ugly hat!
(Or through the coolest hat in the world…it’s a matter of opinion!)