Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When God Puts Us in “Time Out”

A few columns ago I shared that we had acquired a yellow lab puppy. Cleo is now four months old and full of energy. Our other dog, Colby, is a two and-a-half year old mid-sized mixed breed. They are fun, exhausting, and frustrating, all wrapped into one.

Some days the “frustrating” aspect is at its peak. Colby is bigger (for now), and very dominating. He won’t share anything with Cleo, who seems to want whatever Colby has. The dogs run through the house rough housing, growling loudly and yipping constantly. Last week the stress escalated to a point where I knew I had to do something. I said a quick prayer for help and was suddenly reminded of my four-year-old granddaughter, Elaina. At our last visit, while she and “PeePaw” put a puzzle together, she showed him her time out chair. “It’s where I go when I don’t obey,” she explained.

I realized that if time out works for kids, it could work for dogs, so I put Colby outside in the fenced yard for a while. Then, right before I let him back inside, I put Cleo in her crate for a nap. Ahhh, peace at last.

I heard another reference to “time out” this week that, at first, was funny. During our jail ministry board meeting, another board member mentioned that sometimes God puts people in “time out” when they go to jail. It can be His way of getting their attention, especially when they “don’t obey”.

It made me stop and think, because God has ways of getting the attention of law abiding adults, too. Sometimes it takes something serious, like an accident or illness, for us to slow down. In those times (jail time or physical impairment), we need to remember that what Satan means for harm, God can turn into good (Genesis 50:20). God may choose to stop us in our tracks to keep us from going down the wrong path, and in the process hopefully turn our heart to Him. Sometimes God allows “a time out” in our life for His divine purposes.

When kids are put in time out, the goal is for them to realize they have made a bad choice. We want them to learn from it, and, if warranted, apologize. God hopes for the same reaction from us. He is not being mean when He puts us in time out; rather, He is showing us how much He loves us. If we are making wrong choices (including not choosing to have Him in our life at all), He sometimes goes to extremes to get our attention…even sending His innocent Son to the cross…on our behalf.

Our parents trained us for a little while. They did what they thought was best. But God trains us for our good. He wants us to share in his holiness. No training seems pleasant at the time. In fact, it seems painful. But later on it produces a harvest of godliness and peace. It does that for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:10-11 NIRV).

Taking "time out" for Jesus,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I find the use of technology in spreading the word of GOD very useful. We have been doing so by the use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter etc... I found a new way to spread the Word of God, by the use of smartphone application. Now a days where you can see smartphone in the hand of every human, the use of smartphone for this purpose becomes more effective. The other day i downloaded an application named Bible Verses Wallpaper-Lite for this very purpose. This application puts holy verses on your phone wallpaper. What is more amazing is that the verses keep on changing after some time. In today’s world everyone keeps their phone with themselves every time, so whenever you see your phone you see a verse. This helps in memorizing Bible Verses Also. The application can be downloaded from the link to your android phone.
You can send the verse as a message to your friend or post the verse to your friend’s facebook wall and send verse as as SMS to any contact from your contact list.
What could be more better way to share the Word Of The Lord. God bless us all.

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