When I was a little girl I loved all sorts of pets. I had pet potato-bugs, pet spiders, pet caterpillars, and pet ants.
I caught frogs, turtles, and other things. I even caught a snake. I really enjoyed running the outdoors. I would sometimes pretend I was living off the land like a Native American and would head outdoors barefoot (although I am pretty sure real Native Americans had shoes of some sort) and eat berries I found outside. But here is the problem. I was not a real Native American living in the past as I imagined and I did not I know how to survive in the wilderness. I’m not even sure what sort of tree I was eating the berries from. I know someone said it was safe but even if so I probably should have washed things better.
While I spent many summers outside enjoying myself in nature touching dirty random creatures with my bare hands and pretending to make pies out of mud I also spend many summers on the sofa vomiting into a mop bucket because I was so sick. And do you know what? I don’t think I ever considered that there may be a relationship between my actions and my sickness. In my mind I “just happened” to tend to get sick during the summer which is the time I did those the things I mentioned before, such as touching so many creatures that could carry many diseases with my bare hands, playing in the rain, and eating berries.
As I got older and stopped doing those things, I noticed I also stopped vomiting so much. In fact it became very rare for me to have an upset stomach unless I saw something particularly disturbing. It was only then that I started to think there may be a relationship between my childhood activities and my health. Some of the things I did back then, such as using same containers used for packing food as a place to put the frogs I found outside in without even washing with bleach or something to kill the germs afterward would gross me out now. However as a child I used to wonder why I didn’t need to be kept in the refrigerator like food to avoid going moldy so it is clear I didn’t understand how to keep myself healthy very much so I can’t be too harsh on my past folly.
Maybe we are silly and sick in other ways as well. While I don’t think my parents really paid enough attention to notice all of the foolishness I was doing during playtime, I know God sees all of the ways we needlessly hurt ourselves and it hurts God. “My heart, my heart—I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries. Waves of destruction roll over the land, until it lies in complete desolation. Suddenly my tents are destroyed; in a moment my shelters are crushed. How long must I see the battle flags and hear the trumpets of war? ‘My people are foolish and do not know me,’ says the Lord. ‘They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!’” Jeremiah 4:19-22
“Listen, O heavens! Pay attention, earth! This is what the Lord says: ‘The children I raised and cared for have rebelled against me. Even an ox knows its owner, and a donkey recognizes its master’s care—but Israel doesn’t know its master. My people don’t recognize my care for them.’ Oh, what a sinful nation they are—loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the Lord. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why do you continue to invite punishment? Must you rebel forever? Your head is injured, and your heart is sick. You are battered from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds—without any soothing ointments or bandages.” Isaiah 1:2-6
“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. ‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the Lord, have spoken!’” Jeremiah 4:17-20 Sometimes we seem to think of God as saying not to do fun things or else He will punish us when in reality God is focused on trying to stop us from hurting ourselves. God wants us to be well and to stop hurting ourselves be indulging in the foolishness of sin. Allow God to teach you to be good and heal you of your sin. Don’t be a foolish child of God spiritually.
Picture originally found here