God often uses pain and suffering in my life to correct me when I need it. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach us this truth. Proverbs 29:15 says, “A rod of correction imports wisdom, but a youth left to himself is 15 loose wirea disgrace…” Hebrews 17:7 says, “Let God train you, for He is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected?” A man came up to two boys fighting in the park. He took one aside and began to spank him for his inappropriate behavior. An observing bystander came up to the man and asked indignantly why he didn’t do anything to the other boy. The man responded that this one was his own son and the other was not.

Alexander Maclaren wrote, “If we want to be taught anything, we shall not flinch from the rod. There must be pains undergone in order to win knowledge of any sort, and the man who rebels against these shows that he had rather be comfortable and ignorant than wise. A pupil who will not stand having his exercises corrected will not learn his faults. On the other hand, hating reproof is ‘brutish’ in the most literal sense; for it is the characteristic of animals that they do not understand the purpose of pain, and never advance because they do not. Men can grow because they can submit to discipline; beasts cannot improve because, except partially and in a few cases, they cannot accept correction.”

Because of our own selfish natures, we all need correction from time to time. It is absolutely essential for true spiritual growth as well as normal emotional development. Since this is the case with suffering, C. S. Lewis observed, “…we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.” Someone said, “Loose wires give out no musical notes, but when their ends are fastened, the piano, the harp, or the violin is born. Free steam drives no machine, but harnessed and confined with piston and turbine, it makes possible the great world of machinery. An unhampered river drives no dynamos, but dam it up and you can generate sufficient power to light a great city. So our lives must be disciplined if we are to be of any real service in the world.”