My dad was going to be gone for a couple of days, leaving our farm operation in the hands of his three high school aged sons. In his parting words, we were told not to drive the tractors down the lane because we’d probably get stuck in the mud. The next day I was in a hurry and drove a tractor down said “off limits” lane to get to a back field. Nothing was going to happen and no one, including my dad, would ever know. 

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to get a tractor stuck in the mud within a foot of the back axile, let me just assure that it is.

Lucky for me it got cold enough that night for the ground to be “somewhat” frozen the next morning. I talked my older into trying to pull the stuck tractor out with another one. I breathed a real sigh of relief when the partially frozen mud allowed that to happen. However, as I stood there surveying the scene, the evidence was undeniable. My dad was returning home later that day and I knew I had to do. But it hurt to think about his response of anger, frustration, and disappointment that would come my way and that I knew I deserved. 

We walked to the scene of the crime before it got dark that evening. As we stood there surveying the damage, my frustrated father shared the importance of following his instructions and how despite the wisdom of my teenage years, there were often times when he really did know what he was talking about. All I could do was apologize again. 

Then Dad started talking about how “we” needed to get the lane back in shape, something that had been neglected for a while. He asked if I had any ideas. I thought it bit and shared a few things. In a few minutes “we” had a plan. That was a really good day!

As it was with my dad, so it is with God. The aim of God’s tough love is for all of us to be enfolded into God’s embrace. Click here to listen to more.

Your partner on the journey,

Pastor Steve