There have been many times in my life where, if I had known how hard they would be, I would have been terrified. I would have quit. I would have hidden. For example, my husband suddenly was diagnosed with a brain tumor (which is why the Lord cancelled the deployment). If I had know that that was what awaited us, I would have been terrified.
However, when those times came, and especially when I had time to reflect, I could see that the Lord’s hand was in all of it. I could see easily the grace He provided. In fact, one of the hardest times of my life (the brain tumor) actually was one of the best times of my life because the Lord provided such unimaginable and tangible grace and provision literally every step I took. Each moment of the day was bathed in the Lord to the point where I now miss feeling so close to Him. I was weak, but boy I was strong!
Oh I do not want the bad things that happened to happen again. I am a human…I want constant happiness and butterflies and chocolate and puppies. However, I remember that time as one of the best times of my life even though it was one of the worst I have ever had to endure.
If I could have imagined the torment that was to come with his diagnosis, with the frantic medical evacuation to Seattle, with the surgery and recovery, I would have not imagined that the Lord would have been there for me like He was. I would have imagined only excruciating pain and loss.
Instead, the blessing, mercy, grace, and love that He gave me made the pain and torment in the situation become nothing but a momentary and forgettable twinge—like stubbing a toe. Seriously.
We must not borrow trouble. We must not picture bad things that might happen a year from now, a day from now, a minute from now. They might not happen at all, and if they do, we have no idea what amazing, incredible grace will be provided for us.
Grace, not fear, should be in our every thought. Blessings, not bad things. God, not evil.
Let’s look at this even more thoroughly. Again, the Lord gives us grace when we face trouble. However, He does not give us grace for trouble we are not facing. Why? Because we don’t need it!
Think about that. I might worry today about getting in a car wreck tomorrow. In my mind, I might picture the shattering of glass, the pain, blood, sirens. Sitting in my chair right now, I will feel my stomach tense. I will feel my heart pound. My mind will be mourning and frightened beyond reason and my body will be bathed in adrenaline.
However, I do not have grace. At that moment, He has not equipped me to endure a car wreck because I have not been in one. Tomorrow hasn’t come yet. I am sitting at my computer. I am not bleeding. There are no sirens. There is no glass or metal. There is no accident, no injury, no pain. There is only a computer, a high maintenance cat who thinks he is a dog, and some candy I have stashed in a cubby.
Now, why would the Lord give me grace, give me peace for a particular bad situation if I am not in one yet?
Seriously, I ask you right now: why would He give you or me grace for something we are not enduring? Ask yourself that right now. Force your mind to understand this logic.
When we imagine a car wreck, we are allowing our mind to dwell on it. Our fears are overwhelming. Our body reacts in fear and dread. We have the emotions, but not the grace from the Lord to face the situation.
If we were honest with ourselves, we would fully admit that 99.99% of the stuff we are obsessive or panicky or frightened about never happen. Even if we did get in a car tomorrow, the odds are incredible great that we really won’t be in a wreck. Our fears are baseless nonsense. Yes, people get in car wrecks. But the Lord will be there in that moment with us if we ever get in one. Most people do not get into severe car wrecks.
You see? When we imagine things that are horrible, we are imagining them in our human selves. We never, ever imagine how the Lord will sustain us. We never, ever imagine how the Lord will provide the perfect person at the perfect time in our crisis. We never, ever imagine how He will work a crisis out for our good (because He works every single thing, good or bad, for the benefit of us who love Him, who are called according to His purpose). Even the worst thing imaginable, He will work out for our good in time
Jesus’ words were not a downer; they are a promise! A joy! The Lord provides grace each day for each day’s trouble. Take no mind for tomorrow, or for next year, or for one minute from now. Each moment will be filled with the grace of the Lord when we need it, not before.