Imagine that you and I are walking down the street together when a storm suddenly breaks out. You kindly offer to share the overlarge umbrella you brought with you. But to your surprise, I refuse the offer and just keep walking, veering off in my own direction. When I finally arrive at my destination, soaked from head to toe, I complain to anyone who would listen that even though you had an umbrella, you refused to keep me covered. Wouldn’t that be a little crazy?
That’s a picture of what happens when we remove ourselves from God’s protection by going our own way, living according to our own desires, following our own plans. Consider the woman who has committed her life to Christ and yet thinks she can do whatever she wants as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone. So she parties a lot or sleeps with her boyfriend or has an affair with someone at work. But then something bad happens. She gets pregnant or contracts an infection or becomes depressed. Why, she wonders, is her life so miserable? Why does she feel so worthless? Why hasn’t God protected her? Doesn’t he care what happens to her?
Or what about the woman who spends too freely and wonders why she has fallen into debt? Or the one who makes cutting remarks and wonders why she has so few friends? Or the one who takes a job without consulting God and then wonders why she hates it? Why isn’t God helping her? Why hasn’t he protected her?
Not everything we suffer is a result of our failure to follow God and keep ourselves within the circle of his protection. But certainly some things are.
If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, ask the Lord’s forgiveness. Remember that he is not in the business of running after people with his protective umbrella, covering them regardless of how they choose to live. More
(Image courtesy of jim68000 at flickr.com)