If I was foolish enough to deliberately kick a wall with my bare foot – I could well expect to be in pain for some days or weeks. You would probably agree – the laws of nature and physics are, after all, well understood by most of us except of course by babies who, like my granddaughter, who is just learning to walk, seems to expect she can walk up walls as easily as on level floors – but she too is learning! Interesting really as she has never heard of Mr Newton’s law of universal gravitation – yet. But experience is a great teacher!
I have often wondered if what we expect to happen on a physical and material level is mirrored in the spiritual. In other words are there consequences when an individual, group or nation kicks against the unseen but universal law of the God who created our physical an material boundaries?
Some years ago a Christian friend of mine walked well beyond a moral “boundary” – and he new it. One evening in the twilight he was driving along an island road when suddenly he saw a a Heron standing in front of him. He managed to swerve and narrowly avoided striking it. However, on his return journey in the darkness and in the darkness of a guilty conscience he didn’t see the bird still standing on the road and ploughed in to it – killing it instantly.
My friend knew that the habitat and safety zone of the Heron is not on a main road – but by the sea or river. At that moment he was convicted that he also stood where the Heron had stood seconds before – way outside its place of natural protection, far beyond where it should have been.
What may be true in the life of an individual can be true in the life of a community, a nation and a church. The tragic events in our world today highlight the precarious position in which we find ourselves. Is it possible then to step beyond the place of God’s protection? Is it possible that our behaviour and rebellion can break laws in the spiritual realm – laws that are just as real as our natural laws – and with similar consequences?
As Jesus stood with a broken heart weeping over Jerusalem he cried out – “How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t’ let me.” [Matthew 23:37 – NLT]. The rejection of his protection and love by the Jewish nation, as history records, had tragic consequences. I believe he still cries – over individuals, over nations, over towns and cities. Our Father’s longing is for restoration, repentance, and humility so that He can be our Strong Tower, Refuge and Rock – the place of our protection. However, we must return home, we must live within His protective boundaries – under the shelter of His wings – for, I would suggest, only there are we guaranteed his ultimate protection.