I am terrified of driving in a thunderstorm. I’m not talking about a little drizzle on your windshield. I’m talking dark contrast up ahead with sudden buckets of water streaming down your car. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. Some might think it is because I have been in a couple of fairly serious wrecks, which sounds appropriate until you realize that both of those occurred on extraordinarily sunny days. It is just one of those things I suppose. We all have them. Those fears that cripple us; the ones that wake us up in the middle of the night, that cause us to stop in our tracks. They can be as big as death itself or as small as a rain cloud. Either way, it all stems from the same place. Fear.
I have watched several people I know walk through absolutely heart wrenching seasons this year. Friends who have, to put it bluntly, faced their worst nightmares as their new reality. From the outside in, many of you might see our family’s situation as just that. In many ways, you wouldn’t be far from the truth. Our girls still remain undiagnosed. We are in the midst of testing for a couple things that would be on our “worst nightmare” list, and if those come back negative, we will be on the neurologist and geneticist’s list as having something really,really rare that might leave us with a lifetime of unknowns. If we are only two of a handful of people to have a disorder, the likelihood of having a true prognosis is not high. And if I can be candid, this reality full of years of what-ifs and who-knows is almost as terrifying as some of the diagnoses we are waiting to hear back on. We just want to know what we are facing. If we just knew more about the storm ahead, things would be better. Right?
While this may sound rational, I am convinced this is not the case. Think about it. What if God wrote all the details of your story down for you to read. The different seasons that you would walk through. The highs and lows. Things as raw and real as the day you died. The day your children would die. The cause of these deaths. If you would even be able to have children at all. If you would get married at all. If your loved ones would get cancer. EVERYTHING. Talk about living in fear. This would absolutely cripple us all. Friends, I am convinced that God in His wisdom does not tell us all the details because He delights in walking us through the journey. He wrote it. He has already walked it. And, He has conquered the good, the bad, and the ugly through His death on the cross. He does not give us strength for what will occur tomorrow; but He does promise strength for today. As Psalm 84:7 more eloquently puts it, He walks us through this pilgrimage strength to strength. Grace for today. Because of Christ, we no longer have to fear tomorrow or waste moments worrying about whether or not we will be able to handle all that it may hold. Without God’s saving action in our lives, we would be absolutely powerless to walk through the brokenness and unknowns of tomorrow, much less today. With it, however, we are secure. We can be fearless. My friends Julie and Hannah and their husbands come to mind. Neither of them know the other one, however, they both are walking through similar journeys that the world would call tragic. But God intended it for good. I am watching them walk through something that even they would have said, “I could never make it through if _______happened.” In their weakness, God has made Himself known and portrayed His strength and they are not only “making it”; an incredible testimony is being left for the glory of God and His kingdom come. And I can imagine that once you have watched the Lord walk you through the unfathomable, your trust and foundation in His promises reaches a level that is unshakeable.
So what about you? The fears you have do not have to be monumental; they just have to be monumental to you. The Lord knows each of our hearts and He cares about all the details of our lives. For me, instead of living in fear of the future or fear of what it might entail, I want to live in light of the glorious news that Christ promises to carry us through every moment of every season, and that He will give us the ability to faithfully serve Him no matter what that looks like. Our hope does not rest in a diagnosis, whether it be what the world would consider good or bad. In God’s kingdom, there is no such thing as a bad diagnosis because it is all in His hands and for His good. No fear. Simply resting in His promises. Whether you are stumbling through your hardest days yet or coasting by without a care in the world, I pray you know that He wants to be your Burden-Bearer. No matter what storm clouds are ahead, He has already navigated the way to the eternal sunshine that is up ahead. He’s got this! There is freedom in the fearlessness.