When have you said it?
Have you ever said it? What’s the Worst that Can Happen? When Doug asked the question a few weeks ago… I’m certain he wasn’t expecting an answer. And yet… I’ve spent untold time and energy imagining every possible worst scenario. In fact it was that phrase, “what’s the worst that can happen” that became the tie breaker for a very big scary decision.
Ian is flying to Iowa to visit his buddy Malik, TOMORROW. I welcome your prayers. What makes the decision scary is well…. lots of things. But for starters, Ian is flying solo, the first time since his brain injury. Navigating airports, especially O-hare and DFW, (he’ll get to experience both) can be stressful for even a seasoned traveler. Factor in, distract-ability, no short term memory, challenged by reading, careless, labored walk, one good hand, peripherally blind and wanting to appear as if none of those challenges are true. If a non-stop flight was possible, the decision would have been easier. But…. what’s the worst that can happen.
There is a famous quote…I think it is credited to Winnie the Pooh — “What if I fall? But oh my darling what if you fly?” Ironic isn’t it that I’m talking about plane travel for my handsome ginger.
Taking the bait
During several nights of interrupted sleep, God and I spent some extra time together. He gently asked me, “who’s got this, Debbie?” Without any awareness or intention, it turns out I had, yet again, taken the bait. I fell for the lie that if I grip tightly enough I can keep Ian safe. Grrrrrr.
The Irony of Surrender
God is gracious. He is eager to revisit those familiar truths over and over and over again as many times as it takes. In my time of remediation, I discovered, the irony. We access the power of God by surrender. It seems as if letting go is a weak move, but in actuality it is the most powerful, efficient, effective move possible. It gives the Almighty Creator, the omnipotent, omniscient, Lord of the universe, permission to act on our behalf. And God in His graciousness has been waiting patiently for this the whole time.
What in your life have you white knuckled? What burden have you picked back up again? Maybe it’s a wayward child, a scary health situation or perhaps your marriage. Maybe it’s as simple as an uncertain future. What is it that you’re holding onto so tightly and wondering why God seems idle.
In my time with the Lord, I was directed to Lamentations 3:29.
Lamentations 3:29 (MSG) When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself, enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
I’m pleased to report, hope has appeared. It did the instant I let go. It takes courage to release your grip. I get it. I say that as I’m looking squarely in the mirror. But here’s the thing. He won’t be outdone.
A little girl with Pearls
I heard a story once about a little girl who saved up her allowance to buy a string of pearls from the toy store. She adored her necklace. Her daddy tucked her in that night and asked if he could see them. With a big grin she showed him her pearls. Then he asked if he could have them. “I just got them daddy,” she said reluctantly. The next night he he asked again. And again the next night. Finally, after about five nights, the little girl who loved and trusted her daddy said, “well ok. I guess you can have my pearls.” And the moment she handed them over, he pulled out a REAL strand of pearls and gave them to her. “Sleep well, little one,” he said.
So it is for us when we release whatever it is we’re holding on to. The moment we do, He gifts us with abiding peace. Because, that is His nature. He is a good God and worthy of our trust.
Yes… I will be eager to get updates from my traveling ginger. But… he is firmly in the hands of the only one who can make a difference anyway.
P.S. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen?