“Let a righteous man strike me and it is a kindness; let him rebuke me and it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” – Psalm 141:5
Who ever prays like that? Who ever prays such a thing? “Lord, let there be a godly person who will strike me and rebuke me; what a kindness and mercy that would be; please do it Lord, send them soon.”
I can’t say I’ve prayed that in a while. At least, not in that way.
What is David getting at, and what is he wanting in this prayer? He is wanting God’s work in his soul to come unconditionally, no matter what it takes. He wants to grow, to mature, to go deeper, to be changed, to be helped and taught; he wants this sanctifying reality so much in his life that he goes to the extreme of saying, “Even if it means a righteous person really laying it on me to the point of it hurting– if this will bring change in me, if it will be used to teach me, if it will sanctify me and help me, then I want it.”
We usually want our growth within our comfort zone. We want to grow, but not at any cost. We want comfortable growth, easy growth, growth without people getting too close to us, without being rebuked, corrected, chastened, and challenged. We want to know God, but without the harder aspects it sometimes requires.
But the fact is, we can’t have it both ways. We must have a heart like David’s that says, “Lord, whatever it takes to work Your work in me, I want it; if it means a person working me over with correction and rebuke, then so be it; I would rather have Your grace working in me to bring about change with painful means than to be without the correction and go unchanged. Sanctification through smiting is much better than continuation in carnal comfort.
“Lord, send the godly ones to me with the hard stuff– it will be a kindness, it will be like oil on my head.”
– Mack Tomlinson