Living in the tropics is, to put it mildly, an adventure! But needing to take precautions to ensure NOT having monkeys enter your room?!? That’s a new one!
And yet on vacation one morning, as we went to breakfast, we heard a lot of commotion coming from someone’s room. Sure enough, some monkeys had opened the unlatched balcony door and were feasting on the contents of the mini-bar. Snack items and Cokes were considered fair game for these hungry primates.
I’m guessing that the occupants of the ransacked room had either 1) forgotten to latch the door or 2) figured it would never happen to them. After all, who ever heard of a monkey being able to open a door… let alone get inside a refrigerator and open cans?!?
Hmm… sounds like a familiar refrain in life… “It [fill in the blank with whatever ‘it’ in your life this conjures up] could never happen to ME!!!” “These instructions/directions don’t really apply to ME… just to everyone else.”
God’s Word is full of examples of individuals — and even nations — who figured that what He was saying didn’t really apply to them… just to the other guy. Think of Adam and Eve in the Garden. They find themselves in a blissful paradise with all kinds of trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. They had everything they needed. God tells them they can feel free to eat from any tree in the garden except from one, the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Three guesses which tree they ate from.
God told them that IF they ate from that particular tree they would die… but an Enemy distorted what God said and made them think that surely that wouldn’t happen to THEM! And yet that one act of “it- could- never- happen- to- me” ushered all of creation into a downward spiral we still see impacting us today, a spiral that can only be reversed by
- first… acknowledging our own tendency to do things our own way apart from God
- and then… by accepting God’s provision to right the wrong, namely recognizing that He provided the “out,” so to speak, by having His Son die for us.
Adam and Eve are but one example… and they’re at the beginning of the book!
But how about the “it-could- never- happen- to- me” scenarios, things like…
- I’ll never hear that diagnosis (like cancer or COVID or….)
- My job is secure. I don’t need to worry about financial issues.
- Our marriage is great! I can never imagine anything changing that!
- Of course I’ll be hired. Look at my experience, my resume…
- We did everything right raising our kids, so of course they will follow Jesus.
Unless we heed the precautions that God outlines in the Bible, the “owner’s manual” for followers of Christ, we can just as easily find our lives ransacked as the unfortunate vacationers whose room was invaded by hungry monkeys. And when those “it-could-never-happen-to-me” things occur, how can we cope apart from having Someone to cling to and rely upon, Someone who consistently loves and “grows” us, Someone who knows us better than we know ourselves?
Whatever situation you find yourself in today, may the reality of knowing God transform it and give you hope. And as we come alongside one another, may we have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life.”