Dose of Truth

God’s protective love

Picture of Tim Richards

Tim Richards

April 10, 2024

In “How Firm a Foundation,” Jennifer Benson Schuldt described a visit to her great-grandmother’s house when she was a little girl. The elderly relative lived by a farm, and to keep cattle from trespassing, her yard was surrounded by an electric fence. When she asked to play outside, her parents agreed but cautioned her, explaining that touching the fence would be painful.

Despite their warning, young Jennifer did not obey and “was zapped by an electrical current powerful enough to teach a cow a lesson.” She realized her parents loved her enough to try to keep her from getting hurt.

I understand this. As a child my parents also cautioned me about dangers I did not comprehend. Later, as a parent myself I did the same for my children. About 18 months ago, I became a grandpa and am now doing the same thing for my grandson. I look forward to doing it for my expected granddaughter, whose arrival we eagerly anticipate in June.

Most parents readily understand what I am writing about, but many may not realize God does this for us too. When ancient Israel was tempted to create and worship idols, God knew the results would be catastrophic and tried to stop his people from making this painful mistake. “The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people…” (2 Chronicles 36:15, NIV)

Unfortunately, God’s people rejected his repeated attempts to protect them from their bad choices and, as a result, suffered the consequences. When my children were teenagers, I had to occasionally step back and allow them to make mistakes. Blunders which I knew would likely be painful. I wanted them to heed my advice but knew they were not yet ready to listen.

God is wiser and understands things far better than you and me. He gives us commandments and guidelines, not to keep us from enjoying life, but because he loves us and wants us to have meaningful lives. Of course, we can insist upon doing things our own way, demand our rights and ignore God’s loving instruction, but these are never in our best interest.

Should God use my words to warn you about some failure in your life that displeases him, please listen. God loves us far more perfectly than I love my own children and grandson. Trusting God is always in our best interest.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at