Awhile back, we realized that our Home Owners Association had a free security alarm company and that part of our HOA fees covered this service. So, since we had dropped our old security alarm service, we called them.
After the initial inspection, the guy examining our system said, “Uh, sir, a lot of your doors and windows are not hooked up to your alarm at all.” I said, “What???” We’ve lived in our home almost ten years and just always assumed the alarm worked. But it turns out that the back door of our house, the windows in the kitchen and the living room, and the windows off the little balcony upstairs near the master bedroom—none of them had ever been hooked up to an alarm.
We had been living with a false sense of security for almost a decade. All those year we'd thought we were safe. All those years, we'd thought if someone broke into our house at night the alarm would go off and would let us know. But the whole time, the only door actually hooked up to the alarm was the one coming in from the garage. So if someone got the garage door open, we would have known. Otherwise, come on in!
I did the same thing in my life for many years. I was young and healthy. I had a good job. I felt I could handle anything life threw at me. Just as we depended on a broken alarm system to keep us safe, I trusted in my own skills, smarts and strength to keep my life on the right track.
The problem is, this kind of false security is always found out. It might take a decade (seriously, how did we not check the alarm system once in that time?), or it might take even longer, but eventually we have to face our own limitations. We can’t know everything, manage everything, or accomplish everything. We can’t even manage our own lives! At some point we reach the end of ourselves and realize we have to trust God.
The book of Proverbs has so much to teach us about wisdom, including the wisdom of following God instead of our own desires. Chapter 3 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones” (verses 5-8).
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying life and feeling confident in ourselves. But when it really matters—when the safety of our home or the direction of our lives is at stake—we need to count on what’s real and lasting. Today all the doors and windows of our home are connected to a good security system, and I’m focused on connecting all of my life to the God who can be trusted no matter what.
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