Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 10:11 (HCSB)
Have you received a warning from God lately? Those of us in the medical profession often remark with awe and gratitude how the human body sends out warning signals like pain, shortness of breath, and stomach upset that have brought people to an early diagnosis. With the technology that we have, blood tests can warn us of cancer, high sugar or cholesterol to name a few. If God is the Creator of this body, I praise Him for His mercy to build in an early warning system and the scientific knowledge to warn me that I need to make a change!
Paul is writing to the Corinthian church to encourage them to heed God’s spiritual warnings. He is not speaking just about prophecies but also how God frequently says, â€œIf you do ‘this’, then ‘that’ is the consequence.â€ And He says it for both negative and positive consequences. If I humble myself and pray and turn away from my sins, God will hear and heal (2 Chronicles 7:14). Deuteronomy 28 is all about the blessings for obedience and the not-so blessings for disobedience.
Too often I look at â€œbad newsâ€ in my life as something that is to be greeted with mourning and wailing. Maybe I’ve just been ‘saved’ from a misstep on a really bad road! Remember that discussion yesterday about choices and crossroads? God maybe using a lifestyle change to keep me from walking a road that leads to severe health issues or company that He doesn’t want me to keep.
Like most children the strong warning and threats of dire consequences from my parents came when I attempted to make the driveway â€“ well, ok, maybe it was actually a bit in the street â€“ my playground. My brother, who was the obedient child in the family, got busted but good according to my mother when he went to play in the driveway and my father came close to putting the car in ‘reverse’ and running over him. I lived that moment the day my own child happily ran down the driveway toward the street as a neighborhood teenager drove down our little street at a rockin’ 50mph. I snatched him up, yelling and screaming, scaring him into screaming in fright at the crazy woman who had hold of him. To this day, I think it was only fair as my hair began turning grey and I wasn’t even 30. The parental warning at the danger that the child is in when playing in a street seems so obvious to those of us who know what happens in streets. But a child does not have that kind of experience. My children were obedient when we were around streets after that because they had learned that Mom would react negatively if they didn’t. Maybe God, too, is trying to make a point so we remember.
Like any great parent, God wants me to obey because I love Him and want to obey. But if I don’t learn through gentle love, He will use more strenuous warnings because He loves so strenuously.
Have you ever ran late for an appointment or took a route to work you did not normally use and found out later there was a horrific accident that you might have been a part? You ranted and raved because you were running late â€“ only to find out it was a good thing. There are many stories that have been told regarding missed alarm clocks, stopping for donuts, a sick child and traffic jams that caused people to arrive late to the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 and so are alive to tell the story.
Join me in taking a deep breath the next time life takes an unexpected turn and ask God if there is something to learn in this situation. We may have to then take a step of faith and tell God â€œthank youâ€ before we know of any reason for the thanks. But I know that I can also say â€œthank youâ€ that whatever the turn means and wherever it takes me, Jesus will be there with me for every step. That’s a blessing.