When I was a small child I often had toothaches and I knew if I told my mother or father they would give me something that would stop the pain. But being a child I didn't go to my parents - at least not until the pain became unbearable. I knew they would take me to the dentist.

Similarly, we sometimes don't want to go to God immediately when we have various problems. We recognize that He could provide immediate relief from our pain, but He is more concerned with dealing with the root cause of the problem. We are often fearful that He will uncover issues that we are not actually prepared not care to deal with.

In times like these, it is helpful for each of us to remember that the Lord "deals with (us) as with sons and daughters" (Heb. 12:7). His discipline, perhaps painful, is wise, and His touch is loving. He loves us much too much to allow us to remain as we presently are; He desires to mold and shape us in his likeness. God's purposes of love can be trusted more than any of our emotions of fear.

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