One day when I was a young boy, for some reason I remember picking a peony flower and excitedly bringing it in to my mom. I was so happy that I could do something nice for her. My mom initially smiled but then shrieked, opened the back door and tossed the flower out onto the driveway.
Obviously I was crushed and although I do not remember, I imagine I started crying. I do remember my mom telling me thank you for the beautiful flower, but how she had to throw it out for it was full of ants. She urged me to put some water in a can and keep the flower outside to look at.
I have thought of that incident with the peony many times over the years. Many times we see something that looks beautiful and appears to be God’s way of blessing us. Assuming this to be true, we let down our guard and enjoy “God’s blessing”.
Far too many times we grab hold of something simply because it looks, sounds, smells or tastes good. Far too many times we allow our knees to grow feeble as we are taken in by the beauty of someone or something and lose the ability to look objectively, think rationally or exercise vigilance.
Just because something looks pleasant does not automatically make it Godly. Just because something appears to be too beautiful not to be from God, does not mean it really came from Him. Just because we want something because of how it looks does not mean God wants us to have it.
Eve saw the fruit and how beautiful it was and assumed it was a blessing from God. We all know how that ended. David saw the lovely Bathsheba and assumed she was God’s way of rewarding him for all of his hard work. Throughout history, wonderful people have fallen into horrific traps because they fell prey to the mistaken assumption something beautiful was automatically from God.
Sometimes the beautiful flower is a present from God but other times it is full of ants ready to cause great havoc in the house. Sometimes the door that opens up in our lives appears to be God’s way of blessing us, but in reality it may end up tripping us up so badly we cannot serve God. Sometimes the person who enters our life appears to be an angel in disguise, but in reality is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
We must never be so naïve as to believe everything that appears good is always from God. The enemy is able to transform himself into an angel of light so he is able to present beautiful things in our sight in hopes we grab them blindly.
Just as peonies are beautiful but must be washed off before bringing them inside, so we must always remember to subject anything we believe is a blessing from God to the authority of His Word. If indeed something is from God, it will not have any ants and will in no ways cause us to stumble or fall.