by Joan C. Benson
Americans are familiar with choice. It's second nature to people who have lived in a more or less free society, depending on the period of history. We often glide through our days not giving much thought to all the choices we make. Yet, if we were denied the right to decide, undoubtably, we would squeal. Unless our voices are arbitrarily silenced and we had no recourse, we are not satisfied without this freedom of choice. Yes, we yearn to be the master of our destinies. We love the freedom to decide what, how, and when we do something.
Our Master Designer, God Almighty, gave us that ability to choose ... but with "guidelines," well actually, ONE guideline. If you examine Genesis, you discover God's children were provided with everything they needed in a beautiful place without strife or want. God's nature is to provide. Yet, the "children" chose to do the only thing God asked them not to do. I have to smile because having raised children, I know how natural it is for them to determinedly try to scale all barriers you establish, even if it meant for their good.
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While visiting a more tropical region, I experienced an unusual and uninvited houseguest. One morning, we found a little creature I nicknamed "Larry the Lizard," in our kitchen sink. Not being accustomed to wildlife in my work area, I freaked out! I refused to do anything in the kitchen until Larry was free again ... outside. Lacking gloves or anything which would help remove this intruder, my husband resorted to a property management housecall. "HELP! WE HAVE A LIZARD STUCK IN THE SINK."
The more I thought about that little guy sitting at the bottom of the glistening, yet perilous-for-a-lizard bowl, I imagined the surprise when he tumbled down its inescapable slope. Each time he tried to climb out, he slid back to the bottom. What led him to explore in the kitchen, I wondered? What enticed him inside to begin with? I had so many questions.
However, the Lord reminded me how similar we humans are. Wandering about on our own, exploring life and all of its sights and stimulating possibilities, sometimes leads us places the Lord never intended for us, places with emotional, physical, or spiritual risk. Do we always align our choices with God's Word? Are we even aware of the choices we make daily? Do we pray before we accidentally slide into some inescapable trap?
Have your choices ever landed you somewhere you didn't want to be, a place where you couldn't easily climb back into God's will? Here is the good news. Unlike poor "Larry," who did not have a happy end of life, we have a Father God who is waiting for us to come to Him for help. Even in our rebellion, God hears our cries. Yes, there may be unpleasant natural consequences for our wandering choices, but He is faithful to hear. In Isaiah 30:18-19 (TPT), we read, "For this reason the Lord is still waiting to show his favor to you so he can show you his marvelous love. He waits to be gracious to you. He sits on his throne ready to show mercy to you. How compassionate he will be when he hears your cries for help! He will answer you when he hears your voice!"
Your Father God is waiting for you to call to Him, even for rescue, if need be. He sent Jesus, His Son, to Earth who not only taught, but took the penalty for generations of rebellious choices, past, present, and future. He made a way for us to have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe, even though he is holy and we are not. With this amazing gift, we are forgiven. And, we are loved beyond measure.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him," (NIV).