Proverbs 1:33 NIV – “But whoever listens to me (wisdom) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Something puzzles me. I wonder how many other people have the same issue that I do. What is it? I think about the reasons we ignore warnings? They are everywhere – on labels, from people, on news reports, etc. What makes us decide that we know better than the “experts,” who sound the alarm? What makes us ignore serious warnings about impending danger?
During the news coverage about Hurricane Sandy, I really started to think about this. When the storm was first predicted to hit the East Coast, people were warned that a monster storm was coming. Mayor Bloomberg of New York and Governor Christie of New Jersey held press conferences to urge their citizens to evacuate, not to take chances with their lives. Many people heeded the warnings, but quite a few didn’t. They ignored warnings and faced devastating results.
The same things happened in the past with other major storms. When Hurricane Earl approached the East Coast in September 2010, I watched the news reports. Some of the people being interviewed did not want to evacuate. One weather reporter tried to explain that mindset to the viewers. He said that the skies were sunny, blue, and clear, so the people couldn’t sense the impending danger. He stressed that they needed to leave immediately because of the crowds and traffic jams. He said that if they delayed, they could get caught in the storm. No matter how urgent his warnings were, some people refused to heed the pleas.
I live in Southern California where we have earthquakes and wildfires. We are constantly reminded to have our emergency kits prepped and ready to go; to keep the brush away from our homes; to plan ahead.
Yet, no matter how often we hear the warnings and see the results of those who didn’t listen, we still think that we aren’t vulnerable, that the danger does not apply to us.
Once we get caught unprepared, we say, “If only I had listened, or been prepared, or left when I had the chance.”
Isn’t it the same for us spiritually? We sense God asking us to move; to do something we feel inadequate to handle; to speak up when others are silent. We can’t understand why, so we procrastinate, let it slip our minds, or outright disobey. When trouble comes, we’re caught in a battle and have to suffer the consequences. We ask why our prayers go unanswered. We see other people being blessed and wonder why our lives seem so complicated.
Sometimes it’s hard to give up control and let God direct our path. He tells us in His Word that we can trust him to lead us (Isaiah 30:21). He also tells us that sometimes the things that we believe are the best for us will actually lead us to destruction (Proverbs 14:12).
We have to learn to trust His judgment and be willing to obey. His plans for us are good (Jeremiah 29:11). When we give our lives to Him, He will never cast us away (John 6:37; John 10:28-29). We have to remind ourselves that God IS love (I John 4:7-11).
Once we learn to rest, in Him we begin to realize that His warnings must be taken seriously. Even when we can’t sense danger, we know that sunny days can turn into a raging storm very quickly. Let’s decide to heed the Lord and avoid the devastation that could blind side us.