A Woodshed Moment


Ah, there you are. I thought you were dead.

So I was thinking all the way through south Georgia yesterday afternoon. Actually, the ghost of my “old man” spooked me a couple times this week. Earlier in the week someone close to me spoke a hard word into my life and my self went into self-defense mode immediately. I wouldn’t even take it to the Lord to see if this was Him. I knew it wasn’t. Couldn’t be. Not from this person. Flames shot from the orbs of my eyes and smoke billowed from flared nostrils. I told my wife about it and promptly opened the screen of my laptop intending to write them the mother of all emails.

“Don’t do it, Scott,” the Holy Spirit warned.

How strange that He looks a lot like Sandy, I thought to myself.

“If you can’t support me, then leave!” I commanded Him (her).

“I’m telling you, you’ll regret it.”

“No I won’t. Now leave me alone!”

Out she walked. I fumed. Pecking out a string of words, I could feel the evil rise up in me. A mirror of sorts materialized and I saw my old self grinning devilishly, egging me on. Oh, he’ll pay, it said. And you will feel so much better. That gave inspiration for another phrase or two and yet another niggling unsettledness prompting me to go “Pac-Man” on them with my backspace key. Y’ever get so mad you don’t know who you’re mad at? That’s the place I was in. Although I never sent the email my mirrored image was dying for me to send, my heart was wrong. And the anger only festered. Yeah, I ‘obeyed’ the Spirit, but there was no life in it. The Lord had me dead to rights and was setting me up.

I suppose that ire was bubbling away inside me still as I came upon the shaved-headed so-and-so in the red car outside of Tifton, Georgia yesterday afternoon. He was in the left lane and traveling slower than Christmas so I flashed him. Immediately I saw his fist go to the air and watched it sprout a middle digit. About this time, Sandy looked up from her book when she heard me snort. Just in time, I add ruefully, to see the middle finger and me hitched to his rear bumper. It was then she looked over at me and gave me the finger, albeit with her stare.

“What are you doing?”

“I want this…this…JERK to get out of the way. Can you believe him?” my voice shrilled, looking for sympathy from my beloved.

Alas, there was none.

“Stop it, Scott!”

“What?!?” I could see immediately it was going to be my issue.

“Slow down, you’re going to get us all killed!”

“All? I think this bozo needs to die.” The words came out like toothpaste from a tube. Too late.

Sandy went back to her book. I sulked. I fumed. God bided His time. No one was speaking, not for the longest time. I’d turn to God in my thoughts with a C’mon, give me a break! Can’t you see how crappy this week has been? And I’m the innocent one in all this, but I could feel Him looking down at whatever He was reading too.

A few hours ago, the Lord summoned me. They were the first words I’d heard Him speak in my direction for some time, so I was glad. What I didn’t know was He had opened the door to a woodshed and invited me in. I was so delighted with the attention I gaited merrily inside, thinking it’s about time. I opened my journal and began pouring out my heart to him, defending myself from the get go, reminding Him I was His man and this must be persecution and all that. Instantly, He went into silent mode again. I wasn’t listening. I was doing all the talking and defending, so He quietly shut the door behind Him and cleared His throat.

I stopped. Looking around, I could tell I didn’t like this room at all. Then I had the strange sensation I’d been here before. Many times. I sat still as a stone, knowing I’d best listen as what I was about to hear was going to be the answer to my cry for so long: Lord, whatever is in me that needs to die, painful as it is, do it. Do me, Lord!

The one thing about God, He doesn’t tap dance very often. Mostly, He gets right to the point.

“You were wrong, Scott.”

“You mean, the other day? Well, I know I was yesterday. But, Lord…”

“You were wrong. I sent My servant to tell you.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“If you continue to reject his word, you reject Me.”

He showed me this in the context of 1 Samuel 2:30 (the very end of the passage). The clarity was unmistakable.

“I’m sorry, Lord.”

“Not that easy. Not to Me. To him.”

He told me I was to write this person, humiliating myself in the process, telling him I was wrong, he was right and (gulp) asking his forgiveness. He also told me what to say, no more, no less. But still I found a way to obey God and get an old man ‘dig’ in as well. That should do it, I thought somewhat satisfactorily. I wanted to save a little face at least, to hold onto some measure of dignity. Ah, but that’s the stuff of self.

(There you are, you old codger. I thought you were dead.)

“Take that out,” the Lord said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Yes, Lord.”  And I took it out.

Did it hurt to do it? Oh my, and how. But I could never want to be on the other side of God’s holiness. The woodshed is as far as I want to ever go. Funny thing how it is also such a grace-filled room. There’s some real one-on-one attention in the woodshed, some real heart-to hearts in there.

Even still, I think I’ll steer clear of it for awhile, thank you very much.


14 thoughts on “A Woodshed Moment

  1. J.Thomas says:

    Scott. Dude.

    You have got to read this book man:

    It totally resonates with everything you are saying in this post.
    (And if you’re worried about “the bones”, don’t worry, there’s enough meat in there to make it all worthwhile).

    The Lord is moving and shaking!!!
    Praise the Lord!!!!!!!


  2. Jerald says:

    Boy, do I relate to what you went through. I remember a specific time when someone in my life not only disappointed me but treated me shamefully. They didn’t even appreciate how much I had loved them through thick and thin. They treated me wrong! And it hurt really bad.
    All I wanted to do was to get even and to hurt them back. But all I could think of to do at the time was to take them out of my prayer diary and not pray for them any more.
    Boy, was that ever a mistake! The Lord said in essence, “Are you out of your mind?! I’m the one who told you to pray for them in the first place. Don’t you tell me that you’re not going to pray for them any more.” And it went on and on and on. Every thought was focused on this one thing. It wasn’t my anger or hurt feelings any longer. It was my disobedience to God.
    I’ll tell you for sure Scott. I don’t ever want to go there again. It was not good.
    And, by the way, when I started praying for this person again, the Lord fixed our relationship. How about that? He did it.
    And now, whenever I mess up, especially when it’s related to something that He has given me to do, for some strange reason, I remember this particular episode. It has a tendency to put me on my knees.
    Remembering my times with the Lord, good and bad, has been something that has strengthened me for future things.
    I guess that in the long run, God’s woodshed, though a really scary place, is not so bad once it’s all over with.

    God bless you Scott. Your honesty teaches volumes.


  3. alisa says:

    Oh, how I’ve been there before…. only to follow through with the first letter!!!!! 😦 How humbling, yet oh so rewarding is it, when we get to that place where we let the Holy Spirit respond for us!!! It’s amazing what changes take place… not only in the other person… but in me!!! I love you Pastor Scott & am blessed by your openness!!



  4. J.Thomas says:

    Learning to “lose” is learning to live!


  5. J.Thomas says:

    Oh my goodness!!!
    I just looked at your post again.
    Ive got the shaved head, the red car, AND the middle finger, but thank goodness I wasn’t in Tifton!!!

    I was really worried there for a second…,
    “Lord, have I flipped anyone off lately in traffic….I can’t recall…”!!!


    I Love you, my Brother and “Fellow Kingdom Citizen”!


  6. Caleb says:

    I found it interesting that you said the Holy Spirit “looks a lot like Sandy.” I get in trouble when I think the Holy Spirit looks a lot like me.

    The story in your post is so familiar. The process of peeling back the layers of who we were is often (maybe always) painful. In a rare moment of clarity I wonder what it is that I fear so. Why do I cling so desperately to what my Father would remove? Perhaps the pain is just a natural result of my struggling and squirming beneath His hand. As God implements his agenda in me I become afraid. My fears are based in the lies that say I am not the man God says I am and (the mother of lies) He is not Who He claims to be.

    Isn’t ironic that the very thing we crave(to look like Jesus) is also what we struggle against.

    One other irony. I do my level best to avoid the “woodshed.” I don’t like to hurt. But in those final moments before He opens the door to set me on the road again, when the pain is fading I sit on His knee and He reminds me of who I am and that He is exactly who He claims to be. Then I don’t want to leave but I must. Tomorrow or the next day or the day after that I’ll be right back there. But that’s just me your experience may vary.


  7. Mic says:

    I laughed so much reading this story because I identify with it so closely. I love you Pasture!


  8. “He told me I was to write this person, humiliating myself in the process, telling him I was wrong, he was right and (gulp) asking his forgivenes”

    Get a response yet?


  9. pasturescott says:

    TT, I will have you know that I did, in fact, get a response and it was the most humble, glorious, kind, gentle, loving response you could imagine. I thank you for asking, so that I could let you know…how wonderful God is and His gift of total reconciliation!

    Bless you for asking.


  10. J.Thomas says:

    Well, Scott..
    I have reason to believe that the Lord is pouring Himself out to you right about now, and has been, since the instance you last wrote about (and of course, previous to that, as well).

    I can’t wait to here more of your experience with our Lord.

    I know, for a fact, that the Lord uses you in a special way.
    May He continue to do so!

    God bless you and yours!


  11. pasturescott says:

    JT, I love you man. This relationship, albeit in this small crevice of cyberspace, has really been a Christ-building phenomenon in me. I thank you from the belly of my heart, brother, and I gratefully receive your blessing.

    Be ginormically blessed in Christ!


  12. pasturescott says:

    Jerald, I told someone today you were my “right-hand man” (you were there, remember?) and that fits because, biblically, the Jews understood the right hand to be the hand of strength. Welp sir, that’s you: I am stronger with you nearby. Bless you.

    Alisa, I love you too, and thank God our friendship has stood through the years. I will always grin at the memory of when you first came to the Lord and all you sacrificed because you were so full of Him! You’ll never know how blessed I am that you read here. You and Darrell have a BEE-you-tiful family! Lizzie is just the icing on the cake!

    JT–I’ll be looking for that shaved head of yours…please keep the middle finger uncocked and show me some grace if ever you come across a fat guy in a green van who’s daydreaming in front of you.

    Caleb, your comment is a treatise on discipleship and if that’s all you’ve learned in your journey with the Master, you’ve got yourself a PhD., my friend. Bless you for the honor of your visit and input. Stay strong in Christ, brother.

    Mic, I love you too. But stay out of my lane!


  13. J.Thomas says:

    To whom much is given, much is required.

    The Lord is teaching me that I do not, truly, have any choice other than to show grace.

    This is not a hard task with you, bro.

    Only the Lord can give a man a supple heart made of gold.
    This He has done and continues to do in you.

    I have encountered the Lord many times here as well.

    We are together One in Spirit in Jesus Christ,and I cannot deny the longing to see you all face to face.
    The day is coming, and there is Great Peace.

    Bless you all.


  14. Ks says:

    Been there, felt that. Always leaves me wishing I had done the right thing in the first place, so as to avoid the emotional trauma.


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