“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Heb. 12:11
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“Thanks mommy!” A kid about my age plunks a quarter into a little white box right next to the open bin of candy.
He carefully chooses his selection of three candies for his quarter. As I watch him, my mouth begins to water. How I craved one of those chewy white nougats with the gummy center.
Tugging on my mother’s skirt, I pointed to the sugar paradise before us.
“What is it, Julia?” As always, she was being very selective about her tomatoes.
“Can we please get some candy like that boy over there?” I watched the stranger. A pool of saliva drips from the corner of his mouth. This did not arouse my normal aversion to drooling boys; it only made me crave what he was chewing even more.
“No, absolutely not. It will spoil your dinner.” Dinner was never going to be a plate full of sugar, so her words gave me no comfort.
“But, I’m hungry now.” The lucky kid was now onto his second piece, slowly unwrapping the root beer shaped confection. I could almost taste it when I saw him pop it between his sticky lips.
“Tha’ts okay. You can wait.” My mom strolled her cart towards the fresh corn and further away from the candy trap.
I dragged my feet as I followed her. As my eyes hung low to the ground, catching something sparkle like a blue diamond on the supermarket floor. It was a lonely piece of candy!
I could not believe the very the treasure I had been begging for was right in my face and within my reach. I was quite aware that if I did not come to the rescue, that poor piece of candy would be swept away into the trash never to fulfill its destiny of bringing joy to a kid like me. I could not let this travesty happen. I would not let it happen–not on my watch.
Diving to the ground, like a pint-sized wonderwoman, I retrieved my treasure. Swiping the dust onto my skirt, I waited for the perfect time when my mom was distracted just enough. Then I would have a chance to indulge in my little secret appetizer without her knowing a thing.
When we got to at the meat section and my mother took a number, I figured this was my chance.
Pushing the hot dog buns aside, I made myself a seat on the bread display. Quickly unwrapping my little piece of heaven, I popped it into my mouth just as fast.
Oh, it wasn’t my favorite little white nugget, but it was chewy, sweet and still very good. The piece was large and the more I chewed it, the juicier my mouth got. I could now see why that little boy was drooling so much, as I couldn’t stop myself from doing it either.
“Julia!” My mother turned with a panicked look in her eye. She was looking for me! I thought my patent leather shoe poking out into the open would be enough for her to leave me be. My heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t chew my candy fast enough. Feeling her hand on my shoulder, I looked up. My mouth was still mercilessly chewing on that fated piece of candy.
“I got so scared. I couldn’t see you behind the display. Don’t go…”Her eyes narrowed as her sentence came to a stand still. With her jaw locked, I could see there was no way around this situation. I was caught. She held her hand out under my chin.
“Spit it out.” Her voice was an eerie calm, one that indicated I would be in big trouble as soon as my father came home.
I did as I was told. Somehow the candy did not look as tempting as it did when it was wrapped in it’s shiny paper.
She left the cart and grabbed my arm, briskly escorting me to the customer service desk in the front of the store.
“Can I please speak to your manager?” My mother’s expression even caused the woman behind the desk to move quickly.
“Yes? How can I help you?” A man appeared from the back room. He had a mustache that curled at the ends like the handlebars of my bicycle.
“I would like to report a robbery.” My mother was firm and serious.
The man perked up at the words.
“Mam’, please have a seat in my office.”
“No need. The thief is right here.” My mother lifted her hand, indicating me as the criminal. The man with the mustache looked at me with a curious expression. I picked nervously at the hem of my dress, not daring to look him in the eye.
“What did she steal?”
“This.” My mother dropped the sticky piece of candy on the counter.
“Oh.” The light in his eyes expressed a chuckle but his words left an impact that lasted a lifetime.
“Did you do this?” He stepped out from behind the counter and was now on one knee, eye level with me. I could no longer avoid looking at him. Nodding my head, tears hotly spilling off my round cheeks, I felt shame, humiliation and fear like never before.
“Stealing is a serious issue, little lady. But, because the item was returned and you admitted to your mistake, we will not prosecute you. You are free to go. Just listen to your momma and don’t ever do this again, okay?”
I nodded my head, hiding my face under my arm, trembling as I tried to catch my breath and swallow my tears. My career in thievery was over the day it began.
Hebrews 12:11 speaks of the pain of discipline. Many parents aren’t comfortable with the discomfort discipline can cause. It hurts to see your children uncomfortable or in a painful situation, but in the end, discipline is redemptive. It allows the lesson to be taught in the confines of a loving relationship.
When a child gets older and has to deal with a world that is not so loving, those lessons will be an important part of their survival and a means of avoiding further suffering. Are you willing to go through the pain of today to give your children a brighter tomorrow?
“Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for the family. You have blessed us with a child that is headstrong and determined to do things their way. I realize that this rebellion is human nature.
I ask that you give me the wisdom of God to discipline my child the way your Word tells me to do. I have tried it before, and failed because I did not want to be the bad guy. I realize that by not following the Bible, I am not being the best parent I can be for my child. Help me to be and do just that.
Give me the power to stay consistent in my discipline and Bible reading so that I will not confuse my child. I love my child so much, that I ask you lead me in how to parent them. In Jesus’ precious name, so my child can be a strong and healthy person for you, Amen.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Hebrews 12:11
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan