What If?

What if God takes away the rain because we do not thank him for the flowers?
What if God takes away his gifts because I do not open them?
What if God takes away his Word because I do not believe and trust what he says?
What if God answers my prayers in a way I did not expect?
What if God had granted Jesus’ prayer when he asked to let the cup pass him by?
What if God allows me to feel utterly desolate?

What if the pain of broken relationships leaves me in utter dismay?
What if accusations and curses come from unexpected places?
What if losses are more than gains?
What if disappointments drain the life out of you and nightmares come true?

Vaneetha Rendall Rishner wrote the following in her blog:

Even if.
These two simple words have taken the fear out of life. Replacing “what if” with “even if” is one of the most liberating exchanges we can ever make. We trade our irrational fears of an uncertain future for the loving assurance of an unchanging God. We see that even if the worst happens, God will carry us. He will still be good. And he will never leave us.

Habakkuk models this exchange beautifully. Though he had pleaded with God to save his people, he closes this book with this exquisite “even if…”

Even though the fig trees have no fruit
and no grapes grow on the vines,
even though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no corn,
even though the sheep all die
and the cattle stalls are empty,
I will still be joyful and glad,
because the Lord God is my savior.
The Sovereign Lord gives me strength.
He makes me sure-footed as a deer,
and keeps me safe on the mountains.

Hab 3:17-19 (GNB)

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Faith

Is it experience? Strength? Perseverance? Character? Maturity? Knowledge? Trust? Hard work? I do not seem to think so anymore. The longer I serve Him, the less I know things. I am more and more aware that the ultimate essence in my Christian faith is the personal and very intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. I cannot rely on my past experiences, although they were and are precious. It is all about where/how He wants me now. It must be God and me, nothing in between. It is about Him.

As I struggle yet again to know His perfect will for my life, to hear His voice, to see the road before me, I realize I cannot be the one who is control. I do know that above all, I want to see Him and trust Him. I do know that He is faithful. I know He is the one who enables me to have faith.  I am reminded of the quote:

The Noah rule: Predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does.
– Warren Buffett