Proverbs 30:24-28 – There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. (KJV)
Often, I am chided for my protection of little living things. Rather than squish them, throw them in the garbage, or flush them down the toilet, I pick them up, either in my hand or with a tissue, and take them outside to freedom.
I often wonder what the daddy-long-legs that lingers on a wall, or the spider that has spun its web in a corner, or the ant that has flown or crawled in from outside considers when trapped within the clutches of my hand. Surely their instinct is to think that they will come to harm, for they often flap about or scurry around in self-defence until they are released. How can they know that it is for their own good, for their protection?
Are we not sometimes like those little living things? How often do circumstances lead us into territory we shouldn't really be in — situations, for example, that tempt a recovering alcoholic, drug addict, reformed smoker, or gambler back into their old territory "just this once", or even conditions that tempt a reformed gossip to add tidbits to a conversation that should have been left unsaid. Each situation comes with the gift of choice that God has given us. Each circumstance is similar to that of the insects that have come into my home. Our squiggling and squirming is when our consciences wrestle with the knowledge of right and wrong. What we want to do challenges what we know we should do. Our thinking is that "freedom" was when we did what we wanted to do, and that doing what we know we should do (were we to follow a godly path) is something of a confinement.
Often, when faced with the choice, something or someone diverts us from making a mistake. Is this not when God reaches out and places us safely in the clutches of His hands?
Nor is choice restricted to temptations. Often, when following what we may consider the path He has chosen for us, we are "thrown a curve", such as the loss of health, home, job, partnership, or a loved one. Or else some sort of stumbling block may be put in our path. Are we too frightened to trust He is guiding us? Does our faith stand firm and steadfast? Do we realize that God is with us, holding us in the palm of His hand, or do we unwittingly try to get away?
Even when someone helps us not to revert to the old ways, we alone make the choice. If we stay steadfast in faith, we can trust that He is re-directing us. When we follow God's teaching, we realize the true meaning of "freedom".
Prayer: Lord, lead us to trust that when we are corrected in our faults, or when we are diverted in our path, that it is You, guiding us to safety and to where we are meant to be. In Your name we pray. Amen.