But If Not

I’ve always been someone for whom absolutes come easily.

Good and bad.

Right and wrong.

So much so that growing up, my mom called my sister and I Grace and Truth.

I was always, undeniably truth.

As a child, I got irritated with people who gave God caveats.

You know, “If it’s Your will…”

I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t first figure out what God’s will was and then pray for it.

End of story.

Salvation.  Healing.  Deliverance.

In my childlike faith, I believed that these things would always be God’s will.

I didn’t understand why we needed to give him an escape route when we asked for them.

If there ever were three guys who understood absolutes, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.

Serve or not serve.

Bow or not bow.

And with their very lives at stake, they spoke with conviction.

Our God is powerful enough to save us from the flames.

But if not…

We still will not bow.

As a grown up, I’m learning that life is messy.

I’m learning to make some space for grace in between my absolutes.

I’m learning that we don’t always get to know the end of the story, and that sometimes salvation and healing and deliverance look different than they did through my childhood eyes.

I’m learning that although God certainly doesn’t need our caveats,

Sometimes we do.

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we don’t have all the answers.

Sometimes we need to trust our God’s heart even when we don’t see his hand.

Sometimes we need to choose to stand for truth (and grace) without knowing the end of the story.

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