“It could happen.” This was a thought that I held loosely, almost with the same grip that I held on to World War III. Yeah, anything can happen but, it won’t. Then, the whole concept was shattered when…it did.
I guess I played the odds. Odds were, my wife and I would live happily for nice full lives. Of course, there are bumps in the road, and we had ours. Loss, difficulties, and other things out of our control. These are normal and just part of life. But, odds were, we would both live longer.
What happens with such a realization that, with life and the Lord, anything can happen. Nothing is off the table. How does that impact my life? How will I approach all other relationships or things in my life?
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring-what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
This passage makes the “it can happen” thought real. Because, it can. Everything is at God’s good pleasure. We can plan and organize our lives, but always with the understanding that “If the Lord wills.”
It’s comforting to know that these troubles, as well as the good, are all in God’s hand. He views it all, works in it all, and sees us through it all. “It” doesn’t happen apart from His knowledge and out from under His wings of protection.
I admit, it’s hard not to “trust” in the odds. Even now, I can find myself saying, “well, it’s happened to me, so probably nothing like that will again.” Um, no. It’s like I am telling God that I got my “bad” card, so deal the next ones to somebody else. That’s not the way it works. But, inside, I may try to make bargains like that…
What’s the point? What changes? When I confess that, in fact, anything can happen, what did that do to my thinking? First, I saw God differently. He is loving, kind, and gracious, but, He also allows great suffering. He provides and comforts in that suffering as nothing else can.
Second, I saw the effects of this fallen world and I longed for the next. If it were not for heaven, and God’s grace and promises through Jesus, I would not be able to go on. This world is full of pain, great pain, and Jesus is the answer, He is the life-giver, it is through Him that the pain will ultimately end.
When I admitted anything could happen, I have acquired an urgency to reach and comfort others. There are people all around me that are suffering, as I have, with their own particular pain. Who will go? Who will comfort? Who will share the good news of Jesus who actually gives life?
Having gone through, arguably, the worst…I have faced my fears. Fear is not gone, but, I am much stronger in the Lord than I was before July 26th, when Jana went into the hospital. Fear doesn’t hold the spot it once did. I can actually say, with certainty, “Anything can happen.” I’m not playing the odds, I’m not bargaining or hoping for the best, I’m serious. Anything can happen in my life, and my answer…Jesus!