PROTECTED - Week of July 31st

By Judy Nichols

August 1, 2016


 There is a little story in Genesis 20 that comforts me. Abraham and Sarah move into a new territory. The local king takes Sarah into his harem. God comes to the king in a dream, saying he is a dead man because he took Abraham’s wife. In his own defense, the king says he hasn’t touched her and besides, both Abraham and Sarah said they were siblings, not husband and wife. God says He knows all that and it was He who kept the king from sinning.

    God had a plan for Abraham and Sarah; they were to produce a son who would continue God’s covenant with the family. If this pagan king were to have impregnated Sarah, God’s plan would have been foiled so He intervened on her behalf. It is comforting to know that God can protect us from being sinned against, when that sin would hinder His plan for us.

    This is not to say that, if we have been sinned against in horrific ways, God was absent or in some way shares complicity for our pain or does not have a good plan for our lives. Neither is it saying He does not care if we are mistreated. Everyone’s favorite verse, Romans 8:28, speaks of God working all things for good. If those "all things" were already good, there would be no need for God to use them for our good.

    We are all sinners and all are sinned against in many ways. This is part of living in a fallen and damaged world. Only eternity will reveal the many ways God protected us from things that would have prevented our fulfilling His plan for us. This is an amazing thought.

    I think of the many times in high school when I walked home alone from football games at 11 p.m. God kept me safe. A few years later, our next door neighbor who, from my earliest recollections, was a little, old, gray-haired lady, was assaulted on her way home one evening.

    How could we ever know – in this life – the car accidents He prevented, the diseases He did not allow, the violations of our persons or property He blocked?

    God does allow bad things to happen to good people. My life has not been free of suffering or grief. But the things He did (and does) allow to try me, He has used to draw me closer to Him and to demonstrate His great love and mercy.

    There is so much we cannot know. I stand in awe of this God who oversees all and each one individually to see that His good plan is carried out.

© Judy Nichols 2016

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