Leslie Weatherhead used to ask his audience to imagine walking in a beautiful garden. It has beautiful trees, a rock garden and a pond. But, we notice that it is locked at night. There are iron railings around it. There are signs that say, "Don't pick the flowers," and "Please do not walk on the grass." At first we would be frustrated. What is the point? Why all the restrictions. Weatherhead's answer: "Without them there would soon be no park for anyone." God's rules are not to bring grimness to life, but to allow true beauty to grow.


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J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.