July 26

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Matthew 10:16

Our prayer is often that God will place us in nice circumstances among nice people.  Being safe and happy is our expectation of what God means when He promises to protect us.  But Jesus has, in fact, promised the opposite.  He has promised to send us out into hostile and difficult circumstances.  Don’t wolves eat sheep?  Yes, they do, and Paul said, “For your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” – Romans 8:36.  But almost in the same breath Paul also says that, “all things work together for good” – Romans 8:28.  God’s power is not manifested in providing us with a refuge far from the trials and dangers of life; it is manifested in keeping us from the wolves when they surround us, full of hatred and longing to destroy us.  We cannot protect ourselves.  It has been said that the safest place to be is right in the centre of God’s will.  If we plan our own safety, all we shall do is miss God’s miracles.  Daniel must at least have had an adrenaline rush when he was thrown to the lions!  But how he must have rejoiced to see God’s mighty hand protecting him.  We must stop complaining about the hostile conditions we find ourselves in, and start looking for God’s miracles in the midst of difficult people and circumstances.  Perhaps the greatest miracle is manifested when we show to the world a lack of selfish care for our own dignity and safety, and that we have the nature of the Lamb, not the wolf.