At 5am, Husband kissed me on the forehead and told me he loved me. Then he headed out to the airport for a work trip. I rolled over and tried to fall back asleep, but instead my mind kicked into full gear. What if he didn’t make it home? What would I do with the house? Should we downsize or stay put? And what should I do with the life insurance? Who could I trust to help me make those decisions? Who would step in and be a father figure for my kids? How much therapy would they need to process their grief? Ya know, all normal things.
After approximately 23 minutes of this madness, I realized I was not headed back to sleep so I grabbed my bible and journal and went downstairs for some quiet time. As soon as I began to write, I felt the Lord say “Those decisions feel overwhelming b/c I am not there. If you were to actually find yourself there, I would be there too and I would guide you in those decisions. Amy, you can’t dress rehearse tragedy.”
Dude. That’s heavy. It stopped me in my tracks and I realized that’s what I do. All the time. I enter a situation and then jump to the worst possible outcome and try to sort through all the possible ways this could go down. How would I deal? What would the damage be? What would the future look like from this point forward? I look for all the ways that I can make this situation turn out for my good.
Oh wait. That’s not my job. That is what the Lord was trying to speak to my heart at 5:30 on a Wednesday morning. I am completely inadequate in my self-sufficiency. I have neither the ways nor the means to fabricate the best possible outcome for any situation in my life. Why do I keep trying to do life on my own? Why is it that my first response to any situation involves my best reaction to it? Deep sigh.
As I sit in my quiet, still house, I realize how much time and emotional energy has been spent dress rehearsing tragedy. So much. It makes me angry and sad all at once because I realize it is a distraction from the enemy that works every stinkin’ time. Why? Because no matter what my head knows, my heart still struggles to believe that He is for me. That He is perfect in all of His ways, even when those ways hurt my heart. I wrestle with the truth that He is a good, good father. I still fight the tension of hearing His voice and believing His words. I’m still human.
God is God and I am not. My delusion of self-sufficiency is broken all over again and I land on this truth. And then a wave of relief follows. I don’t have to know it all or figure it out. Good! Because my way is exhausting. And what’s even dumber is that it’s not like He’s hiding. This is not a cosmic game of hide and go seek, where I have to figure out where He is before I can get the answers I need or the peace I am seeking. He is not the wizard, hiding behind a giant green curtain in a faraway land called Oz. Jeremiah 29:12-13 is perfectly clear.
“Seek Me and you will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back from captivity.”
That’s a sweet promise. He is just a whisper away. So why do I avoid the whisper and insist on yelling at the mountains in front of me to move? I have never had a mountain move at the sound of my voice. But He has. I have never healed the sick or fed 5,000. But He has. I have never brought dead things back to life. But He has. His track record is pretty good. Even on the dark days when things don’t turn out like I hoped and prayed they would, and my heart burns with the pain of loss, He is there with a peace that really does pass understanding.
Dress rehearsals might be helpful in the theater, but they are pretty pointless in matters of real life. Jesus doesn’t come to our dress rehearsal. But come show time, He always shows up, and the whole script changes.