Here’s a familiar scenario.
You have a thought about an upcoming situation. You think “oh no! What if this scenario (the worst possible outcome) happened!” Emotions rise and you hold your breath as you watch the pictures unfold in your mind. You imagine how devastated you would be. You think of how you would respond.
Can you relate?
Now the upcoming situation is here. What is your decision making process like? Do those anxiety filled, imaginary scenarios affect what you choose to do?
Some may say, “Well, to think of all the possible outcomes is just smart”.
It is very good to use logical and forward thinking skills in our decision making, but is fear logical? Actually, as a response to certain stimuli, the amygdala (or emotion part of the brain) can be so strong that it takes over the normal functioning of the frontal lobe (or logical part of the brain). It disables the rational thoughts and leaves you to rely almost only on your emotions to make decisions.
The imagination is a very strong and important part of our mental make-up. We can imagine joyful, upcoming celebrations and feel intense emotions of happiness, excitement and pleasurable anticipation. As I described earlier, we can also imagine the worst situations, which can leave us feeling fearful, anxious, depressed, and dread of the future.
I would like to suggest that when we find ourselves lost in a world of “what if the worst happened…” that we are imagining a future without God.Tweet
I would like to suggest that when we find ourselves lost in a world of “what if the worst happened…” that we are imagining a future without God.
God is big, smart, and powerful. Just go outside and look at His creation. How all the details fit together perfectly or how huge it is! I could never in my own mind or strength create something like that! If God set this world in motion, why do we feel we need to be strong enough to fix it by ourselves when it’s gone wrong?
When we imagine the worst, we are only seeing a future of what WE can do in our own strength. (Which, sometimes, is not very much in the face of such a huge and difficult situation.) In that moment we realize that if we only had ourselves to depend on and the worst happened, we would be done for, and that’s terrifying.
We were never made to only live by our own strength and understanding. God is NOT watching us from a distance, waiting to see how far we will get by ourselves. No, God designed our lives to be intertwined with His as an intimate friendship and co-working partnership. He cares deeply about our lives and He walks with us each step of the way. When we go to Him with our concerns, emotions, and needs, He loves to gladly give to us everything we need for life. Not just for our one life, but He has a strategy to redeem and make new all of society and He wants us to be a part of it!
When we face a challenge we don’t have to rely on only the strength we can muster in ourselves, but in relationship with Him have the grace and strength to overcome any trail.
“And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty” – Philippians 4:13 (TPT)
When the hard choices come, we don’t have to rely on only our own understanding, but through friendship with Him we have access to all of His unsearchable wisdom to be able to make our decision.
“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart, rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT)
Not us doing life and God watching, but God and us doing life together.
When we are faced with the possibility of hardship, we are often tempted to imagine the worst and fear. Instead, let’s imagine how God, in His strength or understanding, could intervene. Then let’s ask Him to – since He really wants to! That’s the way he created things to work.
Instead of imagining a future without God, let’s imagine a future with God