Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kicking Against the Goad- Hurting Our Stubborn Selves

Poor Lucky. When I came home from my ten days of travel, Lucky came skittering across our slick wood floor to greet me. In his wild enthusiasm, he went sprawling, yelped, and suddenly could not bear weight on his left back leg. It was swollen and bruised. The next day, our vet confirmed it was a bad sprain, prescribed pain meds and rest.

Lucky decided he didn't want to eat the delicious liver-flavored pill pockets which we squished around his pills to disguise them. At one point, we had the pill tucked in the liver pill pocket, wrapped in ham, and coated with peanut butter. When he spit that out, we put the whole mess in a spoon of moist dogfood. That worked.

It is  going to be a hard ten days.

Why do we fight so hard against that which is best for us? A Bible verse that always popped out for me was when Jesus chastises Paul (then Saul) for persecuting Christians, and asks Paul, "Is it hard for you to kick against the goad?"

The goad was a sharp stick that was used to prod oxen who would not follow the master's commands. It was used to direct and protect them. When they tried to go a way that was undesired, the goad would prick and hurt them to turn them on the right path. Stubborn oxen injured themselves, kicking the painful goad, rather than turning onto the desired path. They would rather hurt themselves than follow their Master!

Paul, not yet knowing Jesus was all He claimed to be, was bent on destroying all the followers of Christ. Jesus' words when He confronted Paul on the road to Damascus spoke of the useless and harmful actions of defying that which would ultimately save him.

How silly and futile it is to fight the very thing that is necessary to heal us.

My prayer for all people is they would recognize that when they rebel against God, they are harming themselves. It is as crazy as Lucky spitting out the pills that will ease his pain.

Acts 9New King James Version (NKJV)

Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

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