I was getting coffee with a friend the other day & the topic of “worse case scenarios” came up in conversation. We talked about how life is such a beautiful, yet difficult journey to walk through each day. It’s easy for us to praise God when our “best case scenarios” play out i.e. a new job, financial provision, healing, material blessings, relationships, marriage, & and having a plan for the future.
What isn’t so easy for us to process are the possibilities of our worst case scenarios coming to life: infertility, rape, failure, terrorism, persecution, death, singleness, divorce, cancer, HIV, car crashes, human trafficking, or our children making the same mistakes we did.
How easy is it to trust that we will be whole, healed, and taken care of heaven when our life on earth is going well, that one day every bit of evil & sin will come under the wrath of God, & every bit of brokenness will be restored? It’s easy for us to praise God when we think about the realities of heaven and the glorious moment that we will see Jesus face-to-face one day. What is not-so-easy, is trusting him in the now, where we know that we are not shielded from our worst-case scenarios from becoming a reality here on earth.
We can pray for healing in ourselves or other people, but we know that Jesus won’t always cure the cancer or take away the brain tumor when we want him to.
We can pray for our sons and daughters, but it isn’t a way to guarantee that they will never smoke, drink, or do drugs; that they won’t be taken advantage of; that they would not fall into sin.
We pray for safety during travel each morning, but somehow there always seems to be a devastating crash on I-65 while traveling to work.
We pray that the addictions in our families would cease to exist, but we know that the road to recovery is long, hard, & often without end.
We pray that our relationships would bloom and our marriages would flourish, yet the divorce rate in the U.S. is still over 50%.
We pray against ISIS attacks, suicide bombings, child soldiers, persecution, & war, yet it still plagues countries such as Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China.
We beg God to bring a well-established, Christian man into our lives, & 5 years later there still hasn’t been a call.
We pray that the lost would be found and the slaves would be set free, yet there are still so many people who have completely fallen away from God.
We intercede for America, begging God for revival, to change the hearts of those in Washington & in Hollywood, yet there is still so much corruption.
We call the prodigal home, & still there is no one at our doorstep.
I start to wrestle with God, begging him to help me figure this whole thing out.
“So God……….I trust you. I trust that I am going to spend eternity in heaven with you, I trust that you will ultimately take care of me, but I must confess that it is difficult for me to trust you in the now, in the moments that seem to be without hope, in the situations there the bad seems to outweigh the good. It’s hard to trust you in the present, when past situations have left me empty and bitter. I want answers. I want guaranteed safety and security on this earth. Jesus, ultimately I know that I often don’t trust you in the present because I don’t believe that you are good ALWAYS, and that the sufferings in this life don’t compare to my permanent home in heaven. I don’t believe that you know best. I don’t believe that you are acting quickly enough. I don’t believe that you care. Jesus, help my unbelief.”
It was during this prayer, with tears rolling down my cheek that God gently reminded me of his truth, the truth that saves my soul, comforts me, and takes the weight off of my worst-case scenarios.
“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you” (Psalm 31:19).
“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless” (Psalm 84:10,11).
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).
These verses don’t answer all of my whys and why nots, my if whats and if onlys. They don’t take away or minimize real and tangible pain. What they do, is remind me that I am called to cling to what it good, & that our God is a good father who knows what he is doing even when we don’t.
Jesus isn’t the problem, but he is the only way to escape the corruption, sin, & evil in this world. We can’t escape it without him. HE himself is the solution to all of our worst case scenarios, whether they happen or not.
It is only by understanding these truths that I can claim, “If Not, He is Still Good” in my life, what happens in our lives doesn’t change who God is.
It is only by believing that God is always good that I am able to have peace in my prayers and petitions to heaven, no matter the outcome.
He uses our trials to mature us, sharpen us, & grow us closer to him (which ultimately produces the most joy in us.) He uses our deepest hearts and turns them into a platform that helps us share the good news with other people.
My worst-case scenario isn’t dying in a car wreck or getting cancer, it is living a life apart from Jesus, my one true hope.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)