Once upon a time, a king strolled through a village nestled in a valley below his palace. There he saw a woman clothed in rags, scrounging through a dumpster. His heart hurt for her, and so he called out, “Come with me to the palace, and I’ll prepare a banquet for you. I’ll trade your rags for a beautiful dress. I’ll have my servants prepare a room where you can live as long as you wish.”
The woman looked at him with disbelief in her eyes. “That sounds too good to be true,” she said. “There must be a hitch. Forget it. I’ll stay here.”
The king was taken aback. Surely she misunderstood, he thought. And so he tried again. “Seriously, I’m offering you a place to live. Food. Clothing. Everything you need. Come with me.”
The woman emerged from the dumpster, tossed a browned banana peel over her shoulder, and dove again. “No thanks,” came her muffled reply.
The king shrugged his shoulders and turned away. “Okay, then,” he said quietly. “It’s your choice. ”
Sounds incredulous, doesn’t it? We shake our heads at the fictional woman’s foolishness, but in reality we do the same thing every time we refuse to trust God’s promises.
Why, oh, why do we think we can do life well on our own? We do our own thing, settling for less than God’s best in the process, and then we whine about the outcome. Duh. What is wrong with the human race, anyway? We think we know better than God.
The Israelites felt the same way. Psalm 106:24-25 says, “The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them. Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the Lord.”
“Trust Me,” says God over and over. “Choose life. Do as I tell you, and all will be well.” Maybe we ought to listen. Imagine the difference doing life His way might make in our marriages, our extended family relationships, our use of time, and even our finances.
Imagine the impact the Church might have on society if we focused more on reflecting Christ and loving people rather than on the color of the carpet or whether or not we should use overheads versus hymnals.
Imagine the difference in our own lives if we’d get it right by believing God’s promises to care for us and then to obey Him. We’d truly walk in the rest and freedom He offers to those willing to surrender and trust Him for their well-being.
Are you with me on this? Let’s rewrite that verse so it reads like this: “The people chose to enter the pleasant land. They believed his promise to care for them. They refused to grumble in their tents and disobey the Lord.”
Now let’s live it, folks. Let’s do life God’s way and see what happens!