Discipline seems painful, but it yields the fruit of righteousness.When it comes to mowing the lawn, I’ve decided I am obsessive-compulsive.

In few other areas of life do I feel the need to strive for perfection, but in this one, I do for some unknown reason.

My husband and I share the lawn-mowing responsibilities for our nearly two-acre yard. Thankfully, we have a lawn tractor (John Deere, of course). I assure you, if I had to use a push-behind mower, I wouldn’t be such a perfectionist.

We live in an agricultural community, so we try to keep our rows straight, like the farmers do in their fields. But what bugs me are those little pieces of grass that stick up after I’ve been over a section. Maybe the tractor wheels pressed them down or the blades of grass were bending the opposite direction, so that the mower blades couldn’t cut them. Or maybe my “straight” row wasn’t quite straight enough, and I missed a tiny section.

Whatever the reason, I have been known to mow an entire length of the yard again just to make sure I take care of a small scraggly place. Sometimes I even veer off my straight path when I see a long patch. Or I’ll go around in circles until the entire area looks even.

It occurs to me that my Father in Heaven does the same thing for me. When rough patches spring up in my life, God will take measures to make sure that those patches are trimmed. Perhaps it’s jealousy, gossiping, or worry; I’ve dealt with all these issues. But no matter how many times I fall back into such behaviors, God goes to extraordinary lengths to cut them out of my life. His desire is that I look more and more like Jesus.

That’s my desire, as well. I am grateful that God accepts me with all my imperfections, but that He’s not willing to leave me that way.

We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.” (Hebrews 12:11, GW)

God’s “trimming” can be painful, but when it has the desired result, we are the better for it.