Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
When 18th century poet, Alexander Pope, coined that phrase it was in a poem chastising the literary critics of his day, but the words have some contemporary applications, as well.
Many times when we see friends or loved ones in difficulties, we want to rush in and rescue them. This is especially temping for parents of adult children, because we want to spare them the hard times we may have gone through. Although well meaning, it can be a foolish thing to do.
The reason is found in the second half of Pope’s phrase. Why should angels fear to go anywhere? They are God’s messengers, after all. Angels serve God obediently, so they would only fear to go somewhere against His wishes. Why would it be against God’s will for us not to help dear ones who are struggling? We are told to love and care for one another, right?
Human beings grow strong through overcoming adversity. If we are never tested, we become weak. This is true spiritually, as well as physically. By rushing in to rescue our loved ones, we may be depriving them of an opportunity to grow, maybe even keeping them from a stronger reliance on the Lord.
It isn’t easy to stand by and watch the people we care about suffer or make unwise decisions, but we must trust in God’s love for them, and for us, and allow them room to mature.