As a third time mom, you’d think I was a pro at the art of packing for my littles. You might imagine that I effortlessly whittle down diaper bags and suitcases to just the necessary supplies.
However, you might be quite mistaken, as evidenced by a recent weekend trip to Lake Tahoe. Judging by my suitcase, you’d have thought we planned to move there. In my defense, I always begin with just the essentials … but before you can say “avalanche,” my mind slips into all the “what ifs” and worse-case scenarios that 3 days could hold.
And just like that, the suitcases and diaper bags and backpacks are busting at the seams, ready to endure any number of circumstances. Won’t Keith Morrison remark on how clever I was to pack [X] when our Dateline special airs!
Am I the only one who thinks this way??
Perhaps … but I know I’m not the only one who worries about worst-case scenarios. I can’t be the only mom who wonders what if about her babies and her family.
Lately, I’ve found myself swimming deep in a lot of those “what ifs.” And when we let our minds wander into the darkness of our fears, it doesn’t take long for faith to come under attack.
Trusting God feels easy when the sun is shining and things are going our way. But leaning into Him when we’re facing down our worst fears? That’s a whole different ballgame.
It’s an entirely difference space, one where rote spiritual sayings, quotes, and quips don’t reach. One where simple blog posts can’t penetrate.
When we’re in a crisis of faith, we face a crossroads where our what ifs either sweep us out in a sea of fear, or we bend our knee to the even ifs. We face the hard, cold choice of believing God is good, even if.
Even if the cancer comes back.
Even if the diagnosis breaks our hearts.
Even if the deal doesn’t go through.
Even if the relationship fails.
I’ve searched a lot online, looking for articles or posts to give me the “warm fuzzies” in the midst of pondering the even ifs. And I wish I could impart to you some of my own warm fuzzies—but the hard truth I’m learning?
Standing on faith in the face of our worst-case scenarios is a choice.
A hard, dry choice. There are no warm fuzzies. There is often no emotional reassurance—we are called to obey first, above all. Joshua and the Israelite priests had to step into the Jordan before the waters stopped flowing (see Joshua 3). With cold, wet feet they stood and watched God do amazing things.
Standing on faith in the face of our worst fears brings to life some of the most beautiful scripture in the Bible:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights (Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV).
Sweet reader, choosing faith in the face of worst-case scenarios is hard. Sometimes it even feels downright bitter to choose to believe … but once we do? Once we say yes, Lord, even if? Once we choose truth over feelings or circumstances?
Then, my friend, the bitterness melts away, and the warmth of genuine faith comes rushing in.
It doesn’t mean the fire dies down.
It doesn’t mean the raging waters recede.
It doesn’t mean a way will necessarily open up around the problem, for we may very well have to walk straight through the valley.
But oh, we have the realization and assurance that we are not walking alone. God rushes in. He longs to rush in. Like a parent at the pool, begging His child to jump.
Jump, reader. Just jump. He is there. He will always catch you. He is always good. He is always on His throne.
Yes. Even if.
I can’t promise you that your circumstances will change. I can’t promise you that life will suddenly find itself wrapped up in a pretty bow. But I can promise you that our Father loves it when His children choose faith, hard faith. And I can promise you that His love for you is fiercer than you’ve ever imagined.
He rejoices when truth triumphs in the face of entangling lies. He will always, always, always be by your side, right there, walking the path with you and with me, for He has promised us Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
And today, clinging to this truth is the only warm fuzzy we need. Today, my friend, choose faith.