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Baby-Proofing Your Life

July 7th, 2008

 

Focus Text: Psalm 91: 3 (NLT)

3 For he will rescue you from every trap
      and protect you from deadly disease.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

As most of you know, I will be a father in about eight days (unless little Sadie decides to make her appearance early.)  Since the day we found out we were pregnant, Laura and I have been making drastic transformations to our home.  These changes aren’t confined to the baby’s room, either.  The knowledge that our little girl is on her way has changed the very face of every part of our home.

The alterations began with paint . .  and lots of it.  I lavished the walls of Sadie’s room and bathroom with colors painstakingly and deliberately chosen by her two parents over hours of dinners, discussions, and trips to various home improvement superstores.  The color that resulted would be considered some sort of bluish green to the normal observer, but we’re the first ones to kindly inform you that its actually called “Celery Ice.”  Come on, it’s so obvious!

Next came the furniture.  Our trip to the baby furniture store taught me some very important things.  One specific truth is something I learned back when Laura and I were planning our wedding.  The principle is simple: normal, everyday items that you are used to purchasing for reasonable amounts of money suddenly become extravagantly expensive by simply adding the label “wedding” in front of their names.  For example, normal flowers might cost someone twenty dollars.  “Wedding flowers” on the other hand . . . oh let’s just charge two-hundred dollars!  A glass of water . . . free, of course.  A glass of “wedding water?”  Just hand over your wallet!

Apparently, the same principle applies to baby items, especially furniture.  After a meticulous process of baby furniture shopping, I sold one of my kidneys and made the down payment.  The next amazing thing about this particular baby furniture is that not only did we buy it all the way across town in Franklin, but they also don’t deliver and don’t do assembly.  I suppose they feel that it is part of the “dad test” or something.  So, after hauling the ginormous boxes all the way to our house in a huge, borrowed truck, I conned one of my good friends into helping me offload the cargo and fenagle the millions of pieces into the baby’s room. 

Next came assembly.  After fourteen hours of translating the instruction booklet into English, driving to Lowe’s to get the parts they left out, praying repeatedly for forgiveness, meditating on Ecclesiastes and the futility of life, and watching my wife remove all the sharp objects from the room, the furniture was finally put together.  See, that wasn’t so bad.

I would tell you all about the personal saga of installing the chandelier in her room, but some of you are young and it wouldn’t be appropriate.

As I have worked to prepare my home for my new daughter, my focus is always safety.  I see things now that I never thought of before.  I see sharp corners that could be hazardous and I see slippery places that could cause her to fall.  I see dangerous chemicals that must be locked up now and steep stairways that must be fenced off to protect her from falling.  As a father, I am literally planning the protection of my baby.

Psalm 91: 3 also speaks of the protection of a Father.  Like the possible dangers of my house, God also prepares the path of His children to guard them from hazards.  In the case of this verse, the Psalmist uses the word “trap.”  God is not just protecting us from random dangers in this world, but He is literally keeping us from the deliberately set traps of the enemy.  I picture someone walking through the woods completely unaware that a hunter has set a bear trap on the trail.  Without the guidance of someone who understands the path, our little “life’s hike” will most certainly end at the emergency room or worse.

This verse also uses the term “rescue.”  This would indicate that God’s protection is more than just preemptive.  In other words, sometimes we do mess up and fall into the enemy’s trap.  But God doesn’t just sit back and say, “Well, I tried to tell you!  Now you’re on your own!”  No, God also rescues us in the midst of our mistakes and pries open the seemingly impenetrable trap of the enemy.

The last part of the verse speaks of healing.  When we do fall, we get hurt and these wounds can become infected and fester.  Our Father is more than just our Rescuer; He’s also our Healer.  This healing can be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.  God is certified in multiple fields of eternal medicine.

So, just rest today in the fact that your Father is walking ahead of you through the house with His paint brush, tool belt, and safety manual.  His goal is to “enemy-proof” your life so that you won’t fall prey to the traps or inadvertently stumble across the poison.  But even if you do, God stands poised to touch you with His healing hand.  

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