Wednesday, November 2, 2011

enclosed in love

"I know well the plans I have for you, says the Lord; plans for your welfare, not for woe!  Plans to give you a future full of hope.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) 

The will of God is an expansive enclosure.  Much more lush and bountiful and filled with life than I may have thought.  I once considered it confining, limiting of my “fun.”  Now I see it as protection from the natural consequences of rebellion and sin.  

I spent much of yesterday chasing a toddler who was trying to get past boundaries I'd set for her.  If she slipped past these, she’d be in danger of falling on her head, swallowing small objects, chewing a harmful shiny coaster.  Yet it is amazing:  the (few) places I blocked off were the only ones she gravitated toward.  “No” was my magic word which, in her ears, seemed to be heard as “go for it!!!!” One thinks of the Garden of Eden….

Behind this child, as she focused on nothing but boundaries, was a roomful of toys and books that she normally enjoys for hours.  But she had a hard time seeing them, because she was suddenly charmed by the areas where she was told not to go.  I looked upon her with great love, realizing that hers is human nature.  God looks upon me with love even greater.  And surely He is saddened when I ignore His bountiful blessings in order to pursue attitudes and actions that can cause me harm.

Around every corner in the “enclosure” of God’s will there is a taste of bountiful blessing.  In my "cloister garden," there are surprises beyond every turn.  For the truth is:  the really good things of life are open to me.  They are right here in my enclosure.  If something is off limits, it is only because it would be harmful to me or to someone else, in this life and/or the next.  If I don’t understand why I’m told not to “go there” or “do that,” it’s because – well, I’m not as “smart” as God.  I am not as wise.  

Compared to God, I am very little.  I thank Him that He provides protection for me.  I thank Him that I am enclosed in love.