PREVENTION VS. CURE
My son said to me this morning, “Mom, adults don’t need God’s help as much as kids do, because they already know what to do.” After thinking about that for a moment—that common, natural misperception of what it means to be grown up, I replied, “Hmm. Actually, the more responsibility I have as I grow up, the more I need God to help me and shape me.” As it turns out, those led by the most knowledge don’t always win.
Our culture, led by knowledge, often avoids problems by cutting off opportunity before and even after a seemingly uncertain situation occurs. If not this type of “prevention,” then we seek to prevent, led by knowledge, through over anticipation or fear of negative outcomes. For those of us instead that are confident in our knowledge of cures—we say, “I’ve got something for that problem,” whether it be a supplement, book, advice, doctor, plan, or positive word. The Word of God says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6, NASB). However, here in this context, the covenant God of Israel is describing their lack of faithfulness to and knowledge of (knowing) God and His ways.
So what’s the solution—prevention or cure? Neither. It’s not having to have all the answers or tools, before or after a problem or a bump in the road. At the end of the day, no matter what you’re using to solve your problems or to prevent them, be it avoid problems all together, trying to prevent problems through proper precautions, or feeling confident you know just where to grab the remedy, none of these are a guarantee towards life well-lived and success. They are still limited tools in your hands. Instead, what if the solution was in the becoming or transformation from the inside out—led by the Spirit of God and the understanding of His transforming Word?
I remember being sick for two years, feeling like I was in constant, silent torment, and my mind was constantly reeling trying to find a solution. Some may have applauded that I wouldn’t give up, that I was constantly believing (and begging) God for a solution, that I was constantly trying new things or seeking new help, that I was constantly trying to… fix myself. However, the solution that was always available but not initially fully understood, remained in my surrender. I didn’t really get well until I finally gave in, surrendered my intellect, and turned myself over to the help I felt like God was making available to me. While it did require the help of a health expert, once I surrendered to the plan that was set for me, trusting God in the process that He was leading me, I began to recover. As I surrendered to this expert by the leading of Holy Spirit, I really surrendered to my loving, Heavenly Father and let Him transform me, and make me new. I didn’t have to have a method, a tool, or something to try to get myself out of the mess and frustration; I just needed to surrender like a child and let Him take care of me and make me new from the inside out. I was not only becoming His child in a way I had not fully known before, I was also becoming more like Him in the process, through understanding. I do not believe the sickness had anything to do with God’s plan for my life or me learning to trust, but I could say, surrendering to Him from the beginning would have been a good ounce of prevention and cure. The stress of being led by our own knowledge could probably be the cause or catalyst of many of the problems we encounter.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
(Romans 8:14, NRSV)
The importance of having our Father’s Word settled in our hearts, as the only way and the best way for our lives, is unquantifiable. Just as we as responsible parents and adults need to be transformed by the surrender to our Father—reminding ourselves to remain as a child— we must also lead our children into experiencing the benefits of being a child with a parent (both earthly and Heavenly) that is for them. If we teach our children tools and methods, that’s what they will have in their hands, ready for use as soon as a problem tries to surface. However, if we first and foremost teach our children to be led by Truth that benefits them body, soul, and spirit—coming from a parent that is for them—they will have no need to avoid situations, to have a plan of prevention ready, or to have cures or methods ready to solve all their problems. The truth is, these tools have limitations in our lives, but the Spirit of God and His transforming Word does not, when we surrender to and are led by Him changing the way we understand… one step with Him at a time.
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