When we get to the point in life where there’s more behind us than ahead of us, when we recall how we sometimes lived when we were physically more robust, when we take into account the skills for wise living we painfully attained; it’s nothing short of incredible to consider how undeservedly God has allowed us to physically survive the totality of our self-willed rebellion against Him. Correspondingly, it’s remarkable and humbling to realize that God’s long-fuse response to our sin somehow actually managed to significantly and positively affect our sanctification! Truly, and often quite mysteriously, God demonstrates His faithful commitment to complete the good work He has begun in us (cf. Phil. 1:6). And when demonstrating this commitment, the Father reserves the right to do whatever He chooses to do to make us more like the Son. Such actions may include the loss of a short-term good in exchange for a superior long-term gain. From the time of our deliverance from sin’s penalty until our entry into promised deliverance from sin’s presence, He never vacillates one iota as a friend who sticks closer than a brother (cf. Prov. 18:24). Affirming and rejoicing in this holy and loving juxtaposition of discipline and grace aligns our will with the nurture of our soul.