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Thy Rod and Thy Staff

This morning I was reading one of my favorite devotionals, Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowan. The sentence, “God always sends His staff with His rod,” jumped off the page at me and got me to thinking about support and correction.

Staffs have typically been use to lean on, to provide support as one walks a path of uncertainty or if one is feeling weak and may need something to lean on as the trail ahead is rocky and obstructed. In the Bible, the rod has come to mean discipline or correction, although it can also be used to provide direction and point the way if one becomes lost.

As I read that verse in my devotion this morning, I realized that God does send His staff for me to lean on at times when I am weak and uncertain and in need of His support because left to my own devices, I will grow weaker and even more distracted and disoriented. I often think I am strong enough to do things on my own and by the time I call out for help, the mess I am in is HUGE, all caps! By then, I am in need of correction making His rod quite necessary so that I don’t end up going even go deeper into the woods and becoming even more distracted and disoriented from the truth.

God is a loving and gracious Father and He always knows what is best for His children. He’s not sitting on the sidelines waiting to say, “Gotcha!” He’s waiting to be invited in to our situations so He can spare us from heartache and despair. But we must invite Him in, He will never bulldoze His way; and when we cry out He will send His staff for us to lean on and His rod to provide direction and correction and set things right again. That’s what a good, good Father does.

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