Has anyone ever heard these words from an authority figure: ‘Sit down and shut up’? How many of us have used those words in dealing with an obstinate child that insists on having their say even if it’s to their detriment? I can safely say that I am guilty as charged on this matter.
I know that we are God’s children and I have often wondered if God ever feels like saying that to us. Well, I got my answer late last night as I was having my quiet time. I have started keeping a journal during my quiet time because I find that it is another way that I can stay appropriately engaged in what I am reading. Well, last night that was probably a very good thing as it was closing in on 1am when I began reading. Lamentations 3:28-29 says “Let him sit alone and be silent, for God has disciplined him. Let him put his mouth in the dust – perhaps there is still hope.” (HCSB) Now maybe I’m wrong, but I would paraphrase the beginning of verse 28 as God saying to us, “Sit down and shut up.”
Now surely God doesn’t want us to sit down and shut up all the time, but I think there is a definite time that we are to do just that. That time is when we are being disciplined by God. Ironically, that is probably one of the times when we want to be the most vocal. We complain about the punishment. We don’t think the punishment fits the crime. In general, we just want sympathy from others. Can anyone relate?
God’s discipline is meant to teach us something, however, we may not learn it if we are busy running off at the mouth to everyone who will listen. If we don’t learn, then we may find ourselves right back in the midst of God’s discipline again.
I can’t help but imagine that there must be a level of frustration that God the Father feels towards us in these moments. However, despite His frustration with us, His love does not change or diminish and for that I am incredibly grateful.
This passage hit me pretty hard last night, so in closing I want to share something to make you smile. In those moments of frustration, I can’t help but think that God wants to have a conversation with us that goes something like this.