Picture this: you, your biggest dream in life. Your most perfect, comfortable, safe and fun version of life. STOP! Don’t keep reading until you’ve thought this through. OK, now I’ll fill you in on mine so we can track together:
Me, a beautiful, Godly wife, a few children at some point, hopefully at least one being adopted. For my job/ministry, I would be an entrepreneur, helping businesses get started with a foundation of Christ to impact communities with honesty and generosity. I would also own a music venue, and possibly also a barber shop. I would have good teams and managers and live in community and sharing my house with anyone who needs to use it for events, quick stay, rehab, or whatever thing is most needed at this moment.
So, now maybe mine is simpler or more specific then yours, but what I’m getting at is we all have dreams and plans, but something else that might seem all the more present in our lives then our dreams are surprises that devastate us. We’ve all had either family or pets pass away out of nowhere, disease come in to our own or a loved one’s body, lost jobs, friends, or significant others. We’ve found ourself free from a struggle, To have it come back with a vengeance, be it addiction or dependence. If one or all of these things have happened to you or something just as devastating, you know it always comes at a time where it catches you off guard and you are forced to deal with it.
I was talking to a good friend, named Steve today and he was telling me about the ups and downs in his life, through high points of plenty to his wife getting cancer, where his faith and finances had been and still are being tested, years after the treatment and healing from the Lord. Also, I watching a production of the Broadway musical, Civil War performed by the Servant Stage Company in Lancaster and there was so much death, so much sadness, and brokenness and young love separated by war and just ounces of lead. From it came resulting freedom for some, changes in struggles for others, and tears that could possibly fill the hundreds of thousands of graves dug once the war had ended. (shameless plug, this company is amazing, performing professional caliber theatre at the price of “pay as you will”. Google them and check out a show next Sunday or at a future show!)
All of these circumstances and yours, the unexpected that came at times that life couldn’t have gotten any better or couldn’t have gotten any worse, there was that moment:
That moment, where you can’t tall if you’re dreaming or awake. That moment might be filled with silence, just trying to process if it’s real life, and sometimes weeping, because there’s pain or loss, or confusion, and you don’t even know how to process what has happened yet.
This is the most critical moment, because it brings you to the edge of a cliff with a blazing fire to your back. You must jump into the fog, the unknown. What do you do? Who can you turn to? Put yourself into this picture, label your cliff and your fire and last of all, where is your hope?
I’ve often tried to put my hope in people, medicine, myself, lust, and different habits or addictions, but each time, I found myself jumping toward them, hoping they would catch me. spoiler alert, they never lasted, but acted as a false security, like a net with a hole and the strings loosely tied together, but not mended to take my weight.
The one who caught me every time, even if I wasn’t looking for him to, is Jesus Christ. If you don’t know him more than just his name, it sounds crazy, but I’m sure he’s caught you plenty of times and didn’t even mention it. When we’re not relying on him for our strength, he might allow a couple bumps and bruises, but he cares for us.
The thing is, though, I don’t want to have to go through any more pain then necessary, naturally. The best way I’ve found, and this is from personal experience and several hundreds of others experiences I’ve personally heard first hand accounts from, that the best option to take at the edge of this cliff, is to enter the unknown, with confidence of the goodness of God. Engulfing oneself in prayer and seeking a deeper, personal relationship with Jesus and leaving all anxiety and fear at the edge of the cliff to be burned up, because no amount of worry will add a single day to your life.
The unknown is the safest place to be because it brings us to two options: jump in fear, or jump in faith.
How will you jump?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.