“You are going to break their ribs,” he told us. “If you don’t hear the snap, crack or pop you’re not doing it right.” With every ounce of persuasion, the CPR instructor urged our CrossLife staff and others at the training to perform chest compressions effectively.
He said that way too often people try to perform CPR but don’t push hard enough. “You are their heartbeat,” he reminded us. “Do you want to save their life or be gentle and watch them die? Believe me, if you do it right, they’ll be sore but they’ll also be alive and they’ll thank you for saving them.”
Later we learned how to use an AED device, which shocks a person’s heart back to life with painful jolts of electricity. Sometimes, to save a person you need to hurt them.
So when we pray to God in the Lord’s Prayer, “deliver us from evil,” we need to be ready for God to save us by his deliverance which is very often through an experience of his discipline.
God’s discipline of a Christian is often mistaken for wrath and punishment, which it is not. God’s fist of judgment pounded all of your sins with his punishing justice on the cross when your Substitute and Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Jesus paid it all.
Then why does it sometimes seem as if God is pounding you with his divine punishment in this life? Even the Bible says that all Christians “are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:9).
Yes, when you’re a believer you still experience troubles, but these are not lightning bolts hurled by God to punish you. They are like controlled, targeted electrical power surges when God’s love for you flips the switch to produce something more in you, bring more of you to life.
Peace is found not in the ease of life, but in the presence, power and saving grace of God our Savior. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6,7).
When you’re overwhelmed and just can’t conjure up the strength you need to fight with faith, cast your anxiety on God. “God, it’s too much for me. I can’t do it without you.”
When the pain is too much and you’re tempted to numb it with what you know is sin, cast your anxiety on God. “God, it hurts, help me.”
When the suffering is more than you bargained for and you’re questioning God’s plan, cast your anxiety on God. “God, what is happening? Lead and guide me.”
Snap. Zap. Pop. God is good. Life from him is good. But it may hurt. You’ll thank him for it.
PRAYER: Dear God, I want your deliverance, but also by faith I want your discipline. I know it may hurt. I know it may disagree with my thoughts and ways, but you are a much better God than I am. You are my Father and Friend. I trust you. I’m ready because you are faithful. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read 1 Peter 5:10.
- There is one thing limited in that promise. One thing that God puts under his heel … that God locks up … that God holds back …. that God says, “Enough!” … what is it?
- There are at least three things that God unlocks, and these are unlimited for you. You have them fully. They dominate your faith and life more than suffering. They dominate suffering. What are they?