Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Cobra Effect

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)

Life is full of problems, isn't it? Little problems, big problems, complex problems, problems! But I have learned that sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. Sometimes when you try to fix something you actually end up making it worse. This is called the Cobra Effect. 

During British rule of Colonial India, the government was concerned about the number of venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. So the government offered a bounty for every dead cobra. At first, the incentive worked. Large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward. But it wasn't long until some crafty and enterprising residents began to breed cobras expressly for the purpose of turning them in for the reward. Once the government became aware of this, the bounty program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. In the end, the cobra population in Delhi actually increased as a result of the bounty program. The apparent solution to the problem actually made the situation worse.

Sometimes we see this Cobra Effect in our personal lives when we try to solve our problems by running to the world for help instead of taking our problems to God. Our Heavenly Father wants us to cry out to Him for help and wait for His deliverance. Only He can save us from our problems anyway! Only He is in control. 

Isaiah 30:18 tells us something amazing- God is waiting on you! God wants to be gracious to His people and rescue us from our problems, but He will not give up His glory. That's the most important thing to Him. While you are frantically trying to solve your problems yourself or turning to the world for help or turning to sin to cope with the pain, God is quietly waiting for you to cry out to Him for help so He can rescue. Our Father must teach us to turn to Him for help. He will not rescue us as long as we are trying to rescue ourselves or turn elsewhere for help. We must learn to look to Him first.

What is the biggest problem you are facing today? What's keeping you awake at night? And what have you done to try to fix this problem? Have you cried out to God for help and waited to see what he will do? Carry your problems to the throne of God today. Ask for help, and see what He will do!

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