I have a strong dislike for things that come at me without warning.
- The alarm clock that jolts me from blissful sleep to WIDE AWAKE in two seconds.
- My family has a game that includes a timer. The timer gives no warning, but it makes this obnoxious noise when time is up. We jump. Every. Time.
- Most movies include ominous music that warns us something nasty, bad is about to happen. I detest movies that suddenly scare us without warning. It’s a cheap shot bad directors throw in for shock value.
We don’t like the idea of warnings. A warning has a negative connotation: you can’t do what you want to to do. In reality, we prefer warnings.
Wouldn’t you prefer a alarm clock that begins with a soft sound—a gentle warning—that it’s only going to get louder and more annoying if you don’t get up? (Such alarms exist.)
Most parents give their kids a warning—like counting to three—that if they don’t straighten up, they are about to face unpleasant consequences. My dad technically never counted to three; he always started with “two.” In other words, my sisters only got one warning. (I’m sure I never needed one.)
We need warnings.
Traffic signals in some form have been around since 1868, but prior to 1923, the traffic signal gave you no warning. It had two directions: go and stop. It could be stressful to be cruising down the street, getting ready to cross an intersection when the signal suddenly changed: STOP! The driver had no time to react, and the result was a lot of collisions. A lot.
Enter Garrett Morgan. Morgan’s life story is a fascinating read on starting with little and rising through his own ingenuity and hard wok. On one occasion, he witnessed a spectacular crash, and it got his mind to working: traffic signals need some kind of warning to let the driver know the signal is changing. On November 20, 1923, Morgan patented the first “three-position traffic signal.” The yellow caution light we are so familiar with was introduced.
Ponder this commonplace light in our world. Some may see the yellow light as a challenge to speed up and get through the intersection, but when heeded properly, it is a warning that saves lives.
God gives us warnings—and these warnings are proof that He loves us. If He didn’t love us, He wouldn’t warn us of consequences. He’d just let us stumble and fall. He’d just unexpectedly zap us and kill us.
In His love, God revealed His Word to us. This revelation reveals who God is and who we were created to be. The Bible reveals the way to a fulfilling right relationship with God and the consequences when we fail to seek Him or live according to His will for us.
That’s what motivates me to continually read, study, and meditate on God’s Word. As I hide His Word in my heart, it serves as a yellow caution light. It warns me to be prepared to stop, go no further, and turn back to Him.
“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did…. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” (1 Cor. 10:6,11-12).
I need these warnings—and I welcome them.
What will you do to heed the warnings our loving Father gives us?