This past week, I heard the most horrible news report. You probably did too. It was about a couple with a python who escaped from its cage and killed a two-year-old baby in her crib. It was heartbreaking, especially to discover the owner didn't have a permit, nor the proper cage or lock for the snake.
It absolutely made me sick to think of every part of that story. I kept asking, "Why?" Of course, those people never thought this would happen. I'm sure they would never knowingly put that baby in the way of any harm. They just didn't think anything would happen to them.
That's where I ended up in my thoughts ... with what I have decided are the six most dangerous words in the English language.
THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN TO ME!
I don't judge those people. My heart just breaks for them. And my heart breaks for anyone who finds themselves in a devastating situation because they didn't think anything would happen. Every one of us has the potential to make a serious mistake because we thought we were immune to trouble.
A woman who enjoys an "innocent" flirtation at work
A kid who gets in the back of a truck
A girl who gets in the car with someone who has been drinking
A couple who moves and stops attending church
A mom who starts an email communication with a man who makes her feel young again
The list goes on and on. Every woman, man and child is a candidate for making a mistake. This is because of our sin-drenched DNA. It's also because we have a tendency to forget this sin-nature, and forget that we desperately need God's help ... every day ... every hour ... every minute.
When I think "That will never happen to me," I let down my guard. I imagine myself above my circumstances. It's like I open a door for pride to sneak in.
The reality of this world is we are in a battle. Only many people either don't know that, or forget it. We wake up thinking it's going to be a peaceful day. However, for those who have chosen to follow Jesus, we have an enemy who is preparing for a fight. No wonder we are blindsided by the results of our choices. We are in a fight we don't know about.
This passage reminds me to be on guard, and gives me hope.
1 Peter 5: 7-10, "Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you. Control yourselves. Be on your guard. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to chew up and swallow. Stand up to him. Stand firm in what you believe. All over the world you know that your brothers and sisters are going through the same kind of suffering. God always gives you all the grace you need. "
That last verse is what I hang on to when the sadness of this world threatens to overwhelm me.
No one is immune to sin. No one. But God's grace is enough for each one of us.
In His Love,