Even If

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:17-18 

 

“What if” = fear.

“Even if” = faith.

I found that saying on Pinterest when I was looking last week on what to put on the church marquee (I would’ve put it on there, too, if I’d had one more of the letter Q, since we don’t have an equal sign… sigh).

This quote resonated with me, and immediately brought to mind the story of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. You’ll remember the three young Jews brought into the service of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in his defeat of Judah. These three were found to have violated the king’s decree of bowing down to the large gold image of Nebuchadnezzar, and were brought before the king to explain themselves, and to listen to the king give them one more chance to bow to his image, or else they would be thrown into a blazing furnace.

I have always been in awe of their response, and frankly, a little envious, too. I never imagined having the comfort and courage with which to say, “But even if…” to any situation I have faced, much less a life-or-death matter such as the ones they faced, straight to the person issuing the decree.

How about you?

Christian band MercyMe released a single from their “Lifer” album last year entitled “Even If”, and it brings me to tears almost every time I hear it. Master songwriters, the band pairs the last chorus with a mighty crescendo, reinforcing the declarative nature of the words.

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

This song speaks to my soul, and challenges me to examine my faith.

 

Without getting into too much detail, my husband and I have recently been faced with an unexpected financial work-related life event. My normal course of action is to pray, but then alternate in a 70/30 split between bouts of problem solving and transforming into Chicken Little because the sky really seems to be falling, and I am helpless to control any of it.  

 

So there was this, coupled with my husband’s accidental bicep tear and resultant surgery, a couple of health challenges of my own, and a recent reorg at work. Through all of this, He has been faithful, and my worry has been virtually nil. The health challenges are being managed, his surgery was a success, and the reorg, while challenging, has been good.

 

And the work-related life event? I don’t know how things are going to turn out with that, but my faith has not wavered. I have never once had any anxiety over what will happen. I know that the Lord is in control, and that He will provide. My husband has even commented about wishing he had my strength of faith in this matter (I promise you that was not a humblebrag). I’ve let him know consistently that it’s not me—it’s Him. God gets all the glory, even if things turn out completely different than whatever resolution we may have in our heads.

 

I verbalized this to the Lord this morning in prayer, declaring my own “Even if” to Him. “Even if nothing changes with this thing, because it is not Your will that it does, I will glorify you in any way that I can, and will rely on You to take care of things.” I’ve never done that before, and boy howdy, it felt good!

 

Prayer Requests

  • For the plight of the migrant families (not being political, y’all—truly)
  • For those in military service, and for their families
  • For us to be Jesus to this broken world
  • For us to be obedient
 

I’d like you to consider a challenge in your next quiet time with Him. Identify that one thing you worry about, be it how your children will turn out, work challenges, family members, neighbors, health challenges—whatever, and declare your own “Even If” to Him. Proclaim your faith to Him, and He will honor you for it.

 

Quotes

“No matter how beautiful or impressive the words we speak are, when they don’t convey or reflect the love of God, they are nothing but noise.”                               

“What they say or do not say does not make you any less of a masterpiece of God.”