CHASTENED BY THE LORD?

                                   By

                              Phil Scovell


                             Copyright (C) 1997/2003

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



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          Scovell.  Electronic  formats may be distributed  freely but this
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          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Toll Free:  888-936-0001
          Voice:  303-936-2188
          Fax:  303-936-1841
          Email:  Phil@RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG
          Web:  WWW.RedWhiteAndBlue.ORG



                         CHASTENED BY THE LORD?



                                   By

                              Phil Scovell




               Switching the  radio on, I  began listening, as I  often do,
          to  a  popular   program  hosted  by   a  well  known   Christian
          psychologist.  I  missed most of the broadcast so  failed to hear
          the name  of his  guest.  They  were addressing  common questions
          which so  many of us ask as  Christians concerning the nature and
          character of  God.  He,  the host,   was saying, "And  what about
          this one?  God wants to heal everybody and if you aren't, there's
          something wrong with you?"  I wasn't listening closely; the radio
          was playing softly, but the response had something to do with the
          sovereignty of God - God's will for a person's life.

               The  program  concluded  with  the  host  telling  about  an
          experience he had when  his son was little  and suffering from  a
          severe  ear infection.   He  told of  how the  infection resisted
          common  treatment and  since his  son's inner  ear simply  wasn't
          healing, the  doctor had  to  probe the  young boy's  ear with  a
          surgical  instrument to literally  scrape the infection  from the
          ear drum.   He said he  had to wrap  his two hundred pound  frame
          around his  little boy's  body   and hold  him tightly  while the
          procedure was performed.   He then  expressed the great  personal
          agony  and sickness  of heart he  felt as  his son cried  out for
          mercy;  demanding why his  Father would allow  them to do  such a
          terrible  thing.  He said there  was a mirror in  the room and he
          could  clearly see  his  son's  eyes in  the  reflection as  they
          flashed more than  his demeaning words could verbalize.   He then
          closed the program  by comparing this  story to our  relationship
          with God.  How often we accuse our Heavenly Father of bringing us
          pain and hurt; questioning why He would allow such to come to us,
          doubting is love, and begging for His intervention.

               Silencing the radio, I sat in my chair and considered my own
          situation.   Two months earlier, the  church I had been trying to
          pastor  for  nearly  a  year,  folded.   All  of  the  furniture,
          electronic equipment, instruments,  and materials had  been given
          away, the final bills paid, and the remaining members released to
          go  their way.   I had  dreamed my  entire life of  preaching and
          pastoring to and with God's  chosen people; now it was all  over,
          and after just eleven  months.  What had gone wrong?   Who was to
          blame?   Why had I failed?  What could I do?  How would I provide
          for my family?  I lay in my bed night after night and cried  till
          there were simply  no more tears left.   My grief and  pain swept
          over me like  an angry summer storm.  My blindness, the result of
          retinal surgery as a young boy, threatened as never  before.  "If
          you could see, this would never have happened," echoed a haunting
          voice.  The  financial failure of my business  two years earlier,
          along  with its  bankruptcy, struck  violently once  again at  my
          emotions; ramming, pounding, crushing my mental stability.  I had
          even  been informed by  the IRS  that my  tax returns  were being
          audited.   I easily  identified with this  man's story  because I
          felt as though  I were  that little  boy being held  down by  his
          Heavenly   Father  in  order  that  spiritual  surgery  could  be
          performed.  Somehow, and for some reason, however, I felt uneasy.
          Suddenly I sensed  the illumination   of  the Holy  Spirit and  I
          understood.

               I  had  been raised  with  the  philosophy that  God  brings
          certain  things   into  our   lives  as   either  punishment   or
          opportunities  for  development  of spiritual  character.    Such
          tragedies  as the  death of  a loved  one, sickness  and disease,
          failures,  automobile  accidents,  financial  lack  and  poverty,
          brokenness  in  body  and  mind,  pain,  grief,  fear,  and  even
          rejection  and alienation all  for the  benefit of  the Believer.
          All these, and more, were to bring us closer to God.  In order to
          justify our  Biblical interpretation,  we often  quoted from  the
          book of Hebrews;  assuring those suffering that  chastisement was
          of God.  I never heard, especially by those teaching such, anyone
          ever praying that God would  bring all such things upon  one that
          they might grow in  the Lord.  If such were true, why were not we
          asking God for these  things to occur in our lives?   Why weren't
          we  having all night  prayer meetings to  beg God  to bring these
          things upon His people?  

               As I  sat in  my living room  contemplating what I  had just
          heard  on the  radio, the  Lord identified  the missing  element.
          Although he had taken his son to the doctor, although he had been
          forced  to hold  his  son down  while  the doctor  worked on  the
          infected ear, and  although he had felt the  pain and frustration
          of  his son's  infirmities, he;  the  father, had  not given  the
          sickness to his son.  He was not punishing his son for being bad,
          he wasn't trying to teach him a lesson, he wasn't trying  to help
          him  grow up, he  wasn't teaching him the  virtue of patience, he
          wasn't  attempting to  make him  a better, more  productive, more
          keenly aware human  being.  He, his  dad, the one who  cared more
          for him than  any other person on  earth,  was simply  there when
          his  son  needed  him the  most.    Why, then,  are  we  as Bible
          Believers so dedicated  to accusing God of  perpetrating sickness
          and disease upon those He loves and cares for personally?  Why do
          we believe  God uses infirmities  to teach us something  His Word
          already  has taught?   Why  must  we conclude  that all  physical
          disfunction are somehow connected with His sovereignty?  I am not
          suggesting that this broadcast,  it's host or guest, were  saying
          that all  such is from God.  I do, however, feel the necessity to
          expose the fallacy of those who indeed believe God would hold the
          frail hand  of one of  His children over  a fiery flame  to teach
          them it burns.  I suggest it is time for we, as His children,  to
          spiritually mature.   Remember  our Heavenly  Father promised  He
          would always be there:  "I will never leave you or  forsake you."
          Stop blaming God and start doubting the devil.

                            End Of Document
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