>Submitted by Robin Schmidt
Have you ever heard the fire insurance analogy? Hell being a place of eternal fire, the “sales pitch” is made that Jesus is your insurance policy against fire/hell.
You may be shaking your head in wonder or chuckling, but many of us do think of God in that way. Maybe not as fire insurance, but certainly as some form of coverage against disaster.
I was listening to a radio station on the way to work and listeners were being invited to call in with stories of “close calls.” Incidents in which tragedy was held back by the hand of God. All common sense and logic points to death or dismembering, but God…
We have all heard such a story or maybe have our own story. The Bible is chock full of examples of God intervening in awesome and unbelievable ways. The walls of Jericho falling, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the furnace, or tax money in the mouth of a fish. (Maybe I should have been fishing last week before I mailed in my state income tax return.) Many people called in with stories that morning.
But what about the folks listening who didn’t call in?
The folks who have different stories to tell. The stories of when tragedy wasn’t averted. When death came. The Bible tells those stories too. How many apostles died of natural causes, and how many died a martyr’s death?
What does that mean?
If God was looking out for me when I was rescued from disaster, was He not looking out for me when disaster struck? Did I need a better policy? Does tragedy imply a failure on my part? …if only more people were praying… if only I was more faithful. Does tragedy imply a failure on God’s part?
Or is it maybe not that simple?
Scottish preacher and author George MacDonald suggests the only place worth being is where God is – no matter the circumstances.
A fine view to proclaim when the sun is shining and all is right with the world. Tragedy is doable in theory, when we aren’t actually enduring it.
I have been listening to a hymn written by Francis Xavier, 1506-1552, which has raises a question…
My God, I love You, not because I hope for heav’n thereby,
Nor yet for fear that loving not I might forever die;
But for that You did all mankind upon the cross embrace,
For us did bear the nails and spear, and manifold disgrace.
And griefs and torments numberless, and sweat of agony,
Even death itself, and all for man, who was Your enemy.
Then why, most loving Jesus Christ, should I not love You well?
Not for the sake of winning heav’n nor any fear of hell.
Not with the hope of gaining all, not seeking my reward,
But as You first have loved me, O ever-loving Lord!
Even so I love You, and will love, and in Your praise will sing,
Solely because You are my God and my eternal King,
Solely because You are my God and my eternal King!
Why do I love God?
Why do you?