I was trying to help a father pry his crying three-year-old son from his knee cap. It was one of the tasks of my position as the church’s volunteer helper. Even though his dad had reassured him that he would be right back and that he would be fine, the little boy was full of fear and dread of the unknown Sunday school class that awaited him. The last words that his loving father said to him were, “It’s okay.”
The upset toddler finally relinquished his grip and slowly began to roam the room. As his tiny peers played with toys around him, he walked around the room whispering to himself, “It’s okay . . . it’s okay.” The orange goldfish crackers were passed around in small paper cups, and as he fed himself, with each bite he reminded his childlike heart, “It’s okay . . . it’s okay.” As Jesus smiled up at Him from the coloring sheet he scribbled on, sniffles were heard through the two words “It’s okay.”
Ever felt that way? Do you feel that way today? Sometimes we encounter situations in life when our emotions scream out, Oh no!! How is this problem ever going to be solved? There are times in life when we have to constantly battle thoughts of fear and the what-ifs can make us feel like we are totally out of control. Have you ever been thrust into a scene and given a role to play that you didn’t sign up for? Grieving parent? Devastated spouse? Or abandoned child?
Maybe it is one of your kids that you are watching make decisions that could change the course of his or her life. It could be a financial crisis or a health report that seems incomprehensible. Your spirit knows that God can be trusted and that He has you in the palm of His hand, but your emotions need some talking off the ledge to agree with what your spirit knows. Just like that little guy, we have to remind ourselves over and over again—especially when we don’t FEEL it—it’s okay.
An exercise that has been helping me corral my thoughts and emotions is something I call “remember when.” When challenges arise and my husband and I are trying to keep our minds from racing to every possible scenario imaginable, we remind each other that we have felt this way before BUT now the situations that use to have the “worry factor” have all been solved by our God. All been solved? Come on, Scarlet . . . not everything in life turns out like we planned. I agree. Life doesn’t always stay in the lines—it can get quite messy and comes with troubles—but in each of the very messiest chapters in our lives, God has shown up in His timing and worked them for our good.
Our family didn’t expect to walk a teenage daughter through a pregnancy and adoption plan, but three years later we now see all of the good and beautiful things God created through that time. Not to mention the best grandbaby ever! We didn’t enjoy our season of unemployment when each morning we would calm ourselves with, “It’s okay. We’re okay, right?” I remember during that unemployment time chuckling through tears as we tucked our five-year-old into bed and she placed her newly lost tooth under her pillow. Wanting to manage her expectations, she quietly asked, “Daddy, is the tooth fairy unemployed too?”
I’m sure that you can relate to challenging times in your Christian walk too. We shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus told us that in this world we will have trouble but to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). As we now look back on each difficult season, we can honestly smile and peacefully declare that God was with us and bringing about great things in each situation. As we are on the other side of the what-ifs, we can calmly know that He was with us and blessing us through the challenging times. Reminding ourselves of how yesterday’s potential worry zones have now come to a conclusion, we can speak to today’s worries and—just like Jesus calmed the storm—we can say, “Peace be still!” (Mark 4:39).
How about you? Is there something on your mind that is trying to nag you and take your peace? I want to remind you that our God is faithful. There is coming a day when this issue that is taunting you will come to a conclusion. This too shall pass. As a believer you can rest in the fact that He is with you and is walking you through. All of His promises that we speak over our challenges change outcomes, and even when we don’t feel it, we can declare, “It’s okay!”