The immediate image that comes to mind is of punishment for something we’ve done wrong. And we’ll all admit to the value that come out of being punished for bad choices at different times in our past.
But I’ll take this proverb just a step further beyond punishment. Regardless of the source or cause, painful “blows and wounds…beatings,” in general, can be a valuable way for me to learn some of life’s most important lessons.
This wise saying is the foundation for a line in The Serenity Prayer:
Rather than reacting to the source of cause of my difficulties — if I’m able to see a divine meaning, purpose and value behind it — all this pain really will “scrub away evil…purge the inmost being…and become a pathway to peace” for me!
Here at Helping Up Mission, guys frequently tell me that their greatest moments of spiritual clarity have come in jails and hospital beds!
This wise saying doesn’t say we have to appreciate or enjoy the process — just know that it can have real value in my life!