"As a Man chastens his son, so The Lord your God chastens you". Deut. 8:5 "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those to those who have been trained by it" Hebrews 12:11 I pondered these scriptures as I sat in the hospital on Jan. 16. I went to the E.R. with chest pains and - for the first time in my life - I was admitted. As I sat in the E.R., I was alone for a couple of hours - except when nurses and doctors were running tests or taking blood, etc. I thought of all the times that the Lord had spoken to me about taking proper care of my body and about the need to be healthy and strong to do his will. I'd heard him clearly. I'd written it down. Then I'd kept right on doing what I was doing: getting by on 3 to 5 hours of sleep, juiced-up on caffiene, not eating healthy, no consistent exercise. In this very space I have written about "slowing down". I have also written about "obeying what you already know". I stand by every word that I wrote. It was and is the truth. But I have been a hypocrite. I do slow down to organize and write down goals, but I also sabatoge my own efforts by consistently engaging in behavior patterns that I know to be unhealthy & unproductive - guaranteeing that those goals will never be achieved. On Jan. 16 I believe my Heavenly Father reached that point all parents reach when they say to themselves "I have done enough talking; it's time to take this to the next level". SPANK!! Chest pains - bad enough to make me stop in the middle of a very busy day and go to the E.R. SPANK!! Spend the night in the hospital unsure of whether or not I'd had a heart attack - my delusions of being strong and healthy disintegrating before my very eyes. SPANK!! Leave the hospital the next day feeling humbled and promptly catch the worst case of the flu I've ever had. Spend 4 more days in bed with a fever, coughing incessantly, while contemplating the way I've been operating my day-to-day life. SPANK!! Miss 4 days of work when I only have 1 day of sick time left. It was determined that I did not have a heart attack and, in fact, my heart is healthy (praise God!). Nevertheless, this is a major wake-up call for me. The NLT renders Galatians 6:7 as "...you can't ignore God and get away with it..." God's word is the truth. The blessing is that I have been forced to examine some areas of my life that I have been neglecting. We all get wake-up calls. Most health problems don't sneak up on us, they catch up to us. Attacks are always coming (1 Pet. 5:8). will you be prepared to defend yourself? I wasn't. The question always is: how do you respond to the warning? I've had my spanking (and a time-out). Thank you, Lord for loving me too much to let me keep going without a stern warning. I'm going to obey you now.

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