A volunteer has a choice, but a draftee does not. Our Creator, the Lord God, gave Adam and Eve a choice when He placed them in the garden. You might wonder whether you would have made the same choice or whether you would have had sense enough to choose good over evil. I don’t believe that I know anyone who would without contemplation rather have someone else tell them what to do. We love our independence and yet I am sure that you as well as myself have had those times when we simply wish someone else would make a decision for us. Right or wrong, left or right? Decisions are made many times in a day and we are most fortunate if we have made all the right ones. Thankfully we have always had a backup who is not only ready, but most willing to show us the right one if we will only allow Him to do so.
You might remember that Eve at the time didn’t really understand evil, but she did know that God had created her and given her a beautiful place to live in and allowed her to make her own decisions. You might even wonder if God deliberately gave her free choice because He did not want a world of puppets; He simply wanted children who loved Him.
We are all capable of reading history and time after time we find human beings making mistakes, many times over and over. You might even wonder if our Lord shouldn’t have simply given us better brains. Did He think the only way to impress us would be by allowing His Son to suffer a horrible death on a cross? No, I think He intended to show us how to trust and respect wisdom in the midst of unqualified love.
While authority has always been an issue in our prideful lives, we must understand that the only one who truly has authority in this world is the one who created it. Once we understand this it also has its bright side. Knowing that we have a Father who loves us and wants the very best for His children is as good as it gets. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 – for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That puts things in the realm of being for everyone, not just a few special people.
In the Old Testament God used Malachi to tell the people of Israel I have loved you (1:2). Jesus, himself, told the people As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love (John 15:9) and John, who knew Jesus well, tells us – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1st John 4:7).
In today’s world, we often question whether actions are really motivated by love or simply a gesture that insures favor. There are some things that people will volunteer for if it could generate good will for them as individuals, but there are still many in this world who put themselves in danger because the Lord has put love in their hearts for all His children. We admire them when we read about it in the newspaper and even sometimes wonder if we would or could do the same. There are also those times when we feel that we actually got drafted for something we really didn’t want to do; the outcome may give us a temporary boost, but we know in our hearts that we did not volunteer. Being drafted, obviously, does not leave us with the same feeling of satisfaction. Can we simply make the decision ahead of time that we will rise when needed withouthaving to know the end result? I am not sure that is possible, but I also think that if we make a decision to face whatever comes with the help of our Lord that our actions will follow our hearts.
Lord, help me, help us, to follow your example in love; to volunteer and not simply wait to be drafted.