After a jarring or difficult event has happened in your life, have you ever found yourself asking, “What if I or someone else hadn’t ____________ then ______________ would have happened instead?” And the “instead” is always a better or more favorable outcome in your way of thinking. This mental game leads us around the board of life to “Why” every time.
Why didn’t I do this instead of that?
Why didn’t I think of _______________ at the time?
Why THIS God – couldn’t you have prevented THIS or delayed THAT so I could avoid the present situation?
Last Thursday I met an object on the highway, dropped there by some unknown vehicle that had passed through ahead of me. It filled the right lane and was unavoidable. I swerved at highway speeds. I then had to correct and swerve back. This happened three times and then into the grassy median, a guard wire fence, across traffic going the other way where I barely missed a semi truck and some cars, and then back into the median. I am okay. My car is messed up. Through it all I know God was watching and protecting.
what if I had not scheduled my hair appointment that day?
what if I had left the house 5 minutes later or earlier?
what if I had driven only in the left lane like so many in my neck of the woods do?
In my head my INSTEAD would have gotten me to my intended destination unscathed, my car intact, and my nerves and body not shaken and stirred violently. NOW I have no wheels and face a huge hit to the finances in need of fixing or replacing a car. NOW I have to get rides into work with my hubby to get to appointments down in town (we live up a mountain). All these thoughts began when I woke up this morning – depressed, focused on the “what ifs” and MY “better” outcomes.
I minister to women who have greater, much more life-shattering “what ifs” to face. They have been assaulted, abused, broken, sold– physically, emotionally, verbally, and sexually – by depraved people who never valued them as human beings.
They ask questions like:
what if I had been born into a different family – one who loved me?
what if I had told someone sooner and they believed me?
what if I had been stronger, yelled louder, or fought harder?
Which took them down the very deep valley of “why”:
why did it have to happen to ME?
why didn’t God intervene?
why can’t I move beyond this pain?
My “what ifs” and “whys” seem so small compared to theirs. And yet…neither me nor them will find the answers we are truly looking for while continuing to ask them. We are looking to make the hurt stop, while also living in a broken world full of broken people and uncontrollable events. We want to be God and sweep all the hurt away because we feel God dropped the ball by ALLOWING bad things to happen to us, which created our suffering. Our “what ifs” and “whys” have stolen our hope.
Let’s go there and process that.
Did God drop the object in my lane that left me shaken, achy, and without transportation?
Did God force those evil people to hurt my precious ladies who were abused?
Broken people did.
People who chose in their sinful freewill to hurt others.
Jesus died for sin. And yet He ALLOWS people to make choices that adversely affect us; some mildly and others in life-shattering ways. Earth is NOT heaven. In its current state it is a taste of hell – what sin cost the human race when it rejected God. Death, destruction, hurt, and prolonged agony are the consequences. THAT destruction has hit our lives – me and the lives of the women I minister to.
My hope, and theirs, is that Jesus died for sin – ALL OUR SIN – with His perfect life. Now THAT is assault. A perfect God dying for evil, broken sinners so that His just wrath could be satisfied in the courts of heaven, and those who believe can be forgiven.
Where is the hope in THAT?
Our hope is in the fact that God will not let the hurts we faced at the hands of sinners, small or large, fall without His justice making things right. He died for us and desires to restore you and me to a place where we BELIEVE He has our back, making all things right, either through the Cross of forgiveness or His eternal throne of judgment.
EVERYONE WILL GIVE AN ACCOUNT.
NO ONE ESCAPES.
In the daily grind of living with the consequences of what OTHER PEOPLE’S failures and brokenness have left us with, but BEFORE He returns to make it all right, you need to know Jesus understands.
At the hands of broken people, Jesus was wrongfully arrested and brutally murdered to carry out the plan to save us all. He was REJECTED by His own people, SOLD OUT for 30 pieces of silver, STRIPPED, BEATEN, CRUCIFIED, and SUFFOCATED TO DEATH on a cross. His WRONGFUL death is your hope of vindication for the wrongs done to YOU. We have have a kick-butt-and-take-no-prisoners kind of Savior. He died for our sins, but ALSO rose to show us the power He has to give us new life and HOPE.
Our “what ifs” and “whys” can be laid down at the foot of that cross because it is there He can vindicate and heal all wrongs. There is no other place from which true justice flows. He did all we needed and so much more. New life flows from laying our questions down there.
As I wrote my depression lifted. Did my situation change? Nope. Car, body, and finances are all the same.
My FOCUS changed.
I reminded myself, and hopefully you as well, that Jesus loved me enough to die a wrongful death, to cover my sin and make a way to avenge those who sinned against me – AND the women He has me ministering to. He rose and will return to make those who have wronged us give account for their lives.
Wrong doesn’t win…
Jesus did and will FOR US!
That is a GREAT hope and the focus of my heart today!!!
I would love to know how this encouraged you today. Your comments are more than welcome! Your “what ifs” and “whys” are important to God and me. I desire to partner WITH you as He leads you to all the answers of “Yes” and “Amen” in Him. Sound like something you need today?
Contact me here and we can get the healing conversation started.
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