July 8, 2009
God Sense vs. Common Sense
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7 NIV).
Friend To Friend
Sitting in my backyard, I love to listen to the sounds of all God’s critters: birds, crickets, frogs, katydids, woodpeckers, and most of all – children. Framing our yard from every side, children’s giggles, chatter, and raucous play are a symphony of stringed instruments and percussions alike. There’s the rhythmic thumping of a basketball bouncing on concrete, the squealing of little girls being chased by boys, the skidding of bicycles tires on asphalt, the popping of a cap gun, declarations of “you’re it” and contentions of “you cheated.” All blend together in the symphony of youth. Of course the orchestra would not be complete without the reprimanding of parents breaking up fights and reminding stubborn wills of house rules.
Rules, rules, rules. What a bother – especially when you are five-years-old. When I was five, I never understood why parents had to interfere and ruin all the fun with rules. I eventually decided it was just part of their job description. Parent: law enforcement officer who patrols the neighborhood, ruining all the fun for little girls and boys.
As a five-year-old Tom Boy, my favorite possession was a pink sparkly bicycle with a silver glittery banana seat and u-shaped handle bars. Streamers were attached to the ends of the handles and blew in the breeze as I peddled around the neighborhood at breakneck speed. I could leave skid marks as long as any old boy, balance without holding onto the handlebars, and do “wheelies” with my front tire saluting the air. Oh how I loved to ride around the race track (otherwise known as Pine Haven Drive) feeling the wind whip through my ash blond streaked hair and brush past my bare chest. It was the “bare chest” part that was the problem.
“Sharon Ann Edwards,” my mother would call from the front porch. “Get in the house this minute and put on a shirt!”
“I don’t want to war a shirt,” I whined. “Stewart doesn’t have to wear a shirt. Why do I?”
“Because you’re a girl and because I said so. That’s why.”
My brother was five years my senior and he often romped around without a shirt. As far as I could tell, there wasn’t any difference between him and me. So why did people snicker when I rode past them without a shirt on? I just didn’t get it. So begrudgingly, I’d knock down my kickstand, stomp through the house, and pull on a t-shirt, mumbling all the way.
This was not a onetime incident, and my mother tired of making me dress like a girl. But then something amazing happed. I entered first grade. Suddenly something clicked and I noticed that boys and girls were indeed different. It all started with Isaac Thorp and his big blue eyes. Well, mom never had to tell me to keep my shirt on again.
Rules – what a bother. Rules – what a comfort. Eventually, I learned that even if I didn’t completely understand one of my parents’ rules, it would usually made sense later. And you know what? It’s just like that with my heavenly Father. If I don’t understand one of His rules or commands, it usually makes sense later. If He tells me “no,” I’ve come to understand that it is for my own good. God’s principles are not randomly contrived to ruin our fun. They are meticulously thought out and created to protect His children. God is a lot smarter than we are. Have you noticed that? “Because I said, so,” is all the explanation I need from God. Perhaps I’ll figure out the reasons later – but I may not. If I don’t, I just need to remember that Father knows best.
Dear Lord, Thank you that You do not set up rules for us just to ruin our fun but to provide our protection. Help us to stay within the confines of the safe boundaries you have laid out for us in the Bible. Help us to obey even when we do not understand. Help us to be satisfied with “Because I said so,” when it comes from You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Write down a “rule” that your parents enforced that you did not understand at the time.
Now, as an adult, write down the wisdom of that rule and how it protected you.
If you have children, note any rules that you have set up that they do not understand. Do you see a similar parallel between your wisdom as a parent and God’s wisdom as your parent?
Now, here’s more of today’s truth:
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7-11 NIV).
If you’d like to comment on today’s devotion or share a similar story, visit my blog at www.sharonjaynes.com/blog and scroll to the comments link.
More From The Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from Becoming a Woman who Listens to God. If you would like to learn more about how to sense God’s gentle nudges and discover the stories and lessons in your own life, this book is for you! It also comes with a Bible study guide to learn more about how God speaks through His Word, prayer, nature, other people, and everyday circumstances.
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