Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king. “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then he can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and he can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if he does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up. Daniel 3:16-18 CSB
My hands tightly clutched a Lego Yoda keychain. Was this really the end? My heart raced at the knowledge we were truly leaving the home where our married life began. I frantically grasped for any reason to unload the family treasures tightly packed in trucks and cars.
Just in case we heard God wrong.
My husband and I knew God had strategically rearranged the details of our lives from job loss to the passing of my husband’s beloved grandfather. One incident seamlessly married itself to the detail which came after. Over the course of several months, the puzzle pieces were pulling together, revealing the hidden image in a once chaotic pile, but there were still gaping spots to see the full picture.
It was those blank spaces which made doubt ooze into my heart. My head was screaming for a “Plan B,” assuring me there was a safety net waiting…because I’m that kind of woman. I like to know what is coming and the outcome on the other side.
We clearly see in the above scripture from the book of Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not sure how their circumstances would end. Yet, their response was to trust God, “even if” it ended in death. These men boldly stood in the face of the unknown to declare through their response: God is trustworthy.
Trust is the difference between a “just in case” and an “even if” mindset. To know our God is worthy of our hope, praise, and obedience – even when it doesn’t make sense or look positive. Scripture helps us work through the struggle between these two types of responses by pointing toward the best response. (Especially when it is modeled through those who have wrestled with life’s realities.) When we take a closer look:
- Just in case mentality says, “I don’t really trust God to come through,” while an even if faith states, “God will come through even if it doesn’t happen the way I hoped.” (Romans 8:18, 28 and Romans 5:3)
- Just in case says, “I have a plan.” Even if trusts God has a plan. (Jeremiah 29:11)
- Just in Case touts, “my way is best.” Even if knows God ways are higher and ultimately the best. (Isaiah 55:9-11)
- Just in Case holds tightly to possessions and people. Even If reflects God’s open handed nature of giving and receiving (Psalm 145:16).
The struggles between these two responses are very real. As children of the King, our reaction to change and stress needs to be constantly bowed in obedience to God. Ouch! Did that pinch a bit? We can begrudge obedience when it pushes against our will, but Kingdom ordained purpose rarely comes without a deeper look inside our motives and intentions. Then ask yourself, with as much honesty as possible, will I create the space for “even if” faith or continue clinging to a “just in case” mentality? Friend, I pray you choose God’s best each time.