Sunburn and God’s Plan

As the red hair, pale skinned person that I am, I have battled with sunburn my entire life. I solidly spend 30 minutes in the sun and I get pretty fried unless I have sunscreen on. Just ask any of my friends, in the summer I constantly have a 70+ SPF spray bottle with me. But sometimes, like last week I don’t want to wear sunscreen. Last week in Maryland, I really wanted to get “tan.” And before you scoff, sometimes my freckles blend together and I look sort of less pale, so that’s what I mean by “tan.”
Anyway, we rented a jet boat and spent a good amount of time on the water tubing, kneeboarding and just tooling around the lake. I initially put sunscreen on, and then after I got in the water, I didn’t put it back on. My dad addressed it a couple of times, reminding me to put on sunscreen. I said yeah, yeah and moved on.
Well wouldn’t you know it, the next day I had a lovely red, hurting back. If I had just listened to dear old Dad, I wouldn’t be sunburnt.
Now how does this relate to you? I promise I didn’t write this post to complain about sunburn. It struck me today that this is a really good metaphor for when I wrote about happiness versus joy. My getting “tan” is a temporary pleasure, something that brings brief happiness. Later, though, it leads to sunburn and it could even lead to skin cancer. If I had used sunscreen, I would still be able to enjoy the sun, would probably not be tan, and would have less of a chance of getting skin cancer. Sunscreen, in this case represents me avoiding what I want in the moment, holding out for something better, which I’m saying is God’s promise for better things to come. If I give my life to Him, 100%, He will give me eternal life. And honestly, that’s a whole lot better than a tan that last three months.
I hope you don’t think I’m beating a dead horse here, but I keep posting about joy because it’s something I’ve been struggling with. I figure if I can find someway to make it a bit easier for me to understand, I might as well share it. So, in conclusion, wear sunscreen. Trust God’s perfect plan for you. I bet your life will be that much better for it. ☺️


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