I could see the fear in her eyes and the concern on her husband’s face. The word “cancer” unspoken but hung thick in that corner of the café that day. No one signs up for this.
“What if?” lurks under the surface of our hearts. The loss of a child, the heartache of divorce, the loneliness of being single, the devastation of financial ruin…how do we absorb it all? We wonder how we are going to make it. Surely we were not created to carry the ponderous weight of this life. It’s just all too much.
I’ve not faced the need of a biopsy. I’ve not gone through divorce or lost my home or cradled a grown child going through withdrawal. I can’t imagine having to face such a harsh realities. But by very nature of living in this world, I’ve gone through my own “What ifs.” I wonder how I am going to make it. I know I am not strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, not anything enough. The illusion that I can somehow maintain control over our circumstances is…well, an illusion. The temptation to be my own savior is forever present.
So how do we survive these harsh realities?
The truth is we weren’t created to. God never designed us to bear the weight of a broken world. The problem comes when try.
Often, however, it is simply the anticipation and uncertainty of what lies ahead and our fledgling attempts to figure things out that causes us the most anxiousness. We are a mess before our time of need even arrives.
“I don’t think I can do this.” How many times have I said that? I guess the point is…I can’t.
In light of our inadequacies and self doubt comes an incredible promise in Hebrews 4:16:, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (NLT)
This verse most assuredly tells us that when we have finally given up the ability to manage our way through and stand in the place of mercy, will we find the help we need…when we need it. But not before. It is available only after we’ve released our grip to manipulate and control and stepped into that empty, fear-filled place does it come. It is available only when we are “there;” in the moment of our pain and in the middle of our fears. Then…reliably, miraculously there is a grace available “in due proportion to the necessity” at just the right time. It is everything you need for that moment. Assuredly as it will come, however, assuredly no help can be expected until we come. Abundant grace…available to us, when we have left all other options behind.