"Every time God says, "Thou shalt not," God is simply saying, "Don't hurt yourself.
And every time God says, "Thou shalt," God is saying, "Help yourself to happiness."
- Adrian Rogers
Even after four children I never cease to be amazed at the tenacity of an infant going after an electrical outlet. Although I employ distraction as a first technique, it inevitably comes to a point where we are in a stand-off. I am trying to protect my child, and he is defiantly challenging me to let him enjoy the thrill of the jolt of electricity in his tiny frame. At least that's what it looks like to me!
Yet it never really stops in infancy. I had friends as a teenager who were determined to not miss the thrill of drugs or inappropriate premarital relationships. They didn't understand why I wanted to miss out on the fun. I didn't understand why they wanted to experience the jolt that could lead to spiritual and relational ruin.
Even now I see women who insist that the excitement of a flirtation here and there is harmless.They are determined that the gifts they are given are not sufficient and that further pleasure is to be found in the forbidden of God's Word.
The truth is the thrill quickly turns to an uncomfortable shock when one realizes how unsatisfying it is to break God's commands. The hiss of the serpent insisting God is withholding pleasure from us echoes in our ears and into the depths of our hearts. Yet, when we reach out to touch the hot stove of the forbidden, our hand comes away with blisters and our spirits are wracked with pain.
It is God Who created the beautiful Garden, sprinkling its blissful surroundings with gifts like a parent piling presents under the Christmas tree. He, so eager to see them happy and to have a sweet relationship with them, watched as they doubted Him and scorned the gifts for a bite of poison.
It is God Who created you and Who gave us the blessings of love and salvation. It is God who yearns to see our eyes light up with joy at His gifts and Who longs to have us sit and commune with Him in sweet relationship.
And it is God Who, seeing us intent upon the destruction of our souls, placed Himself in that place of pain and agony. His betrayal, His bleeding hands and feet, His torture and the hours of struggling to breathe the foul air of a sin-cursed world were His final attempt to stop us in our tracks.
Who are we to gaze at His bountiful gifts and watch the payment of sin being extracted from the suffering body of our Savior, and whisper, "No, You are withholding from me!" ?
Even as we touch and the fiery sting of sin courses through our souls, tears fall from His eyes. No further word is necessary as we realize with jolting clarity that the only thing He wanted to withhold from us was pain.
Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little blogging mixed in. After her family has been taken care of, she dabbles in her other passions of reading, health and music. She blogs about her life, her Heavenly Father, marriage, parenting and home at www.joyeverafter.blogspot.com and real food for real families from the perspective of real faith at www.growingreal.net.