God is not a Duck

Watch TV for any amount of time and you are bound to hear the annoying and unusual quack of the Aflac duck. Instead of quacking, the duck says “Aflac”, in a duck sort of way. God is not that duck.

Aflac is an insurance company that sells supplemental insurance. That means that when your regular insurance reaches its contractual limits, Aflac helps pay your additional expenses. Seems like a good thing to have – where the typical efforts fall short, it’s nice to have someone there to help out when things get really tough.

God is not Aflac, but, sometimes we treat Him like He is. Most of the people I know, the people who live in my neighborhood and the people I see at football games are people who are able to take care of their business on a daily basis. We are financially stable people and can mostly manage on our own. The good news for us is that we only need God to help out when our regular means of support fail – or so we think.

What we often fail to recognize and admit is that all we have is God’s doing. The blessing of being born into a good family, the blessing of parents who don’t have to work 3 jobs and can help us with our school work, the blessing of a house with a quiet place to study, the blessing of more than enough food to eat – all of these are blessings given by God.

And yet, how easy it is for us to take care of ourselves and think we’re the ones making it happen. How easy it is to take our blessings for granted and to give little attention to the One who gave us the blessings. Sure, when times get tough and we can’t find our way through by our own intellect and talents, then we turn to God, then we look to the One who promises to see us through “the valley of death”. And, because God is faithful, God will help. And so we figure it must be true – God is our Aflac insurance. But just because God is good all the time (even when we don’t give him credit) that does not make God a duck.

What would happen if we began to look at things differently? What if we began to see God not as our supplemental insurance, but the provider of every good thing we have? What if we acknowledged that what we have and the life we live are all the gift of God?

Before we answer that we need to realize what it means. Seeing God as the One who loves us and gives us all we have means we should also be asking God what we should do with what we’re given. It may be that God would rather have us feed the hungry than buy that new car. It may be that God wants us to use our business ability to help launch a small business for a family who has the talent to run the business but needs help making it happen – and if they can make it happen that family will begin to thrive. In other words, when we accept that all we have are blessings from God, God may just ask us to use them as a blessing for others.

It’s a hard issue to deal with, a challenge worth wrestling with, we just have to be sure we’re not ducking the question.

Holy high-five to you,
Mike

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