Respect the Sign
On a recent walk down the lane near my home, I noticed a sign tacked up to a tree. The sign was old and rusty looking, obviously a resident of the tree trunk for some time. It read ‘No Trespassing’ and I knew instantly what that meant. No Trespassing! Regardless of it being old, never mind it was rusted, I could still read the words and I knew exactly what it meant. My mind recalled a Bible verse I had read that morning. Regardless of the age of the Bible, never mind that it no longer is in popular demand, I know the powerful truth of God’s word and age nor people’s disregard of the precious writings will cause me to ignore the truth of its teaching.
People say the Bible is full of restrictions. Perhaps we should take another look at restrictions and determine whether they are bad – or good? Take fences, for example. Fences were first invented to keep something OUT instead of IN the confined space. When the Wild West began to be tamed, ranchers were losing cattle to collisions with new-fangled motorized vehicles. As long as horses and wagons remained the means of getting to town, cattle were not in danger, but once model T’s began cutting across vast rolling hillsides and valleys where large herds of cattle roamed unhindered, ranchers searched for ways to limit vehicles from driving recklessly across their pastures.
God is basically like the ranchers; He wants to protect His children from collisions with wild things. Exodus 20 is filled with fences God has designed for our protection. When God said, “Don’t steal,” He was protecting us from the law and from years in a prison cell. God said, “Honor your Father and Mother,” because He wanted to bring peaceful relationships to the home. The Bible teaches to avoid sex outside of the marriage relationship. That’s to protect us from sexual diseases or the fury of a jealous partner. So why would we be angry with God just because He has put a few restrictions upon us? Are we so eager to have what we desire that we throw caution to the wind risking much for a few moments of pleasure? Could it be that in the simple act of waiting or withholding what we desire the most, we could find the elusive state of contentment?
A popular phrase with Hubby is ‘less is more’. At first I thought He wanted to restrict my purchases, but now I’m convinced his boundaries are a protection, not a restriction. He wants our home to be content with what we have, to be satisfied with what God has provided for us and not to over-extend our budget. In essence, he is building a fence around our finances to protect us from financial stress. Pretty smart.
The next time you feel deprived of some pleasure or longed for item, stop to consider the benefit of living within the guidelines of God’s word. You’ll find many of His restrictions are not written to cause limitation, but to bring protection. His ‘no trespassing’ signs are simply love notes written to protect and preserve the quality of our lives.
“Because of the LORD’S faithful love, we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is YOUR faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24) Trust Him!