So many of our actions have unintended consequences. As humans, our minds are not made to see every possible outcome of each decision. Most of the time, we see the situation from our point of view and if we are lucky maybe at least one other point of view. From an outside perspective, some of the consequences seem obvious. For example, bringing in a nonnative plant to an area could have a detrimental effect on the natural wildlife. Or getting rid of a flooding area in my yard might cause flooding in my neighbor’s yard. Practically speaking, we might stay up late to finish a project only to be too tired the next day to present the project well.
Other choices might not be so obvious. For example, the government’s decision regarding a stimulus package and COVID need the ability to see the future. Will this stimulus package actually boost our economy or cause inflation? Will having restrictions on the vaccine help get a vulnerable population vaccinated or leave vaccines unused? In humanitarian work, the question often is will this project help the people be able to stand on their own two feet or keep them dependent on others? The truth is we can predict things but have no idea what unintended consequences these decisions might have. Our sight is limited.
Not so with God. His sight is not limited. He knows the beginning and the end and all the parts in between. For Him, there are no unintended consequences. We see in the gospels that Jesus’ last journey to Jerusalem was purposeful even though He knew the intended consequences of the days to come. His disciples not understanding those possible consequences tried to deter Him. But Jesus could not be deterred. He started with the end in mind. His love for us keep him going as He took up the cross and carried it towards Golgotha. He endured the pain knowing that the intended consequence was a bridge of reconciliation between His Father and us. I Peter 2:24 NASB tells us that “He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness for by His wounds we are healed.” He intended to be the one sacrifice for all of our sin and shame. He intended for His Father to make us new creations to confirm us into the image of Jesus, His Son (Rom 8:29,30). This is what God intended. There were no mistakes on His part.
In a world of second guessing and finger pointing, I am comforted to know that this is truth: I am not an unintended consequence and neither are you. God is calling you and me to HIM. He offers forgiveness, a family, and a future. All we have to do is receive this gift of Jesus, of forgiveness. (John 1:12).
I love what it says in Romans 10:9-13.
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation.
For the scripture says, “WHOEVER believes in HIM will not be disappointed.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for WHOEVER will call upon the name of the LORD will be saved.
(all caps added by me)
Did you notice God’s intended consequences:
- Both of the above for WHOEVER. We can put labels on people but God sees no distinction. He sees us individually and knows the number of hairs on our heads but our color or gender never gets in the way of His offer of salvation. If you (whoever) call on Him, He will hear and give you his salvation.
This may be old news to you. You have found refuge in God and the salvation He offers. Or this may be new news to you. If that is the case then I hope you will understand these words, take them to heart, and call on Him (God). If you have any questions, I would be happy to talk with you. But whether these words are old or new, I hope we never forget and take these truths for granted. In a world with so much information and opposing ideas, I find comfort in going to what is true and unchanging.