Most of us like our privacy to be respected. Privacy probably hasn't been an issue over the last 18/24 months as you may have felt relatively isolated. However, there are times when we all need our own space, and often other people don't seem to realise it. I saw an example of this a couple of years ago. My wife and I were out walking and came across a couple fishing for crabs with their young child. After a couple of minutes, it dawned on me that this guy was a famous footballer. They remained unobserved for quite a long time. Their backs were to the people who were strolling along the promenade. The buggy was facing the sea, a bag of chips was on the back of the buggy, and the only clue of any 'wealth' was the pack of Tesco's Finest Pancetta. They were quietly minding their own business when someone spotted them. You can imagine what happened next: people were queuing up for a photograph or an autograph, and the peace was shattered. It wasn't long until they decided that it was time to go.
Guessing who the famous couple were would be irrelevant, and it's not the point of the story. The fact is that you can't remain hidden forever! If you are in the public eye, you are recognisable, and you will be spotted no matter how well you hide.
What about ordinary folk like you and me? Does anybody notice or even care about what we do? Can I assure you someone does? Hopefully, many of you have good neighbours and a good family and, if you have both, you are privileged! There are many kind and caring people in the world and, though they may not be aware of it, they are practising the teaching of Jesus - 'Love your neighbour as yourself' . It's a tall order, and none of us does it overly well, but it's good to try.
If you feel that no one is looking out for you, I want you to know that God is! Even when we don't acknowledge Him, He gives us happy times in life and satisfies our 'hearts with food and gladness' . In our times of grief, He offers to be with us 'through the valley of the shadow of death' . Explaining the complexities of life's sadness is beyond this short piece. Still, I must assure you that the tragedies of life are not what God wants for humanity, even though He often uses them for our good.
The world's wrong, pain, and hurt result from sin and evil and find their roots in human choices. The Bible lays the blame firmly at our feet when it says, 'As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned' . Sadly the consequences of wrong choices, words and actions can last for generations and have long term adverse effects. But there is hope, as God is keenly interested in you.
Sometimes our privacy needs to be invaded to protect us and, in extreme circumstances, to save us. If, for instance, you become a key witness in a trial and need witness protection, then you lose many of the freedoms you once had. If you have a serious accident, you lose all privacy as the paramedics and hospital staff do everything to help you. Your loss of privacy is ultimately for your good. So it is when it comes to your spiritual health.
God interrupted world history when He sent His Son, Jesus, into the world. But it was intentional and preplanned as the Scriptures record that 'the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world' . Therefore, it is essential for our survival in the next life that God invades our privacy in this life to bring us to our senses. Without His salvation, cleansing from sin and new life, we will experience the second death, which is how the Bible describes eternal separation from God.
Let me conclude with the words of John chapter 3 verse 16 - 'For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'. Following this advice is the only way to be safe in this life and the next.