What is our ‘Best Case Scenario’?
I am totally honored to get to share on Morgan’s blog today! I thought it might be helpful for some people to know a little bit of my story. So here are a few links to my blog in case you want to know the whole story of our little lives. Click HERE and HERE to get a glimpse at our story.
My name is Julie. I am married to the absolute love of my life, Clay, and we have a two-and-a-half year old boy named George. For the first 30 years of my life, whether or not I would have admitted it at the time, I have lived a pretty ‘blessed’ life. I, as a Christian, tend to measure how great my life (or, really, anyone’s life) is by the ‘blessings’ in my life. Oh, I wonder how often we misuse this word that the Lord puts such great emphasis on.
By definition, ‘blessing’ means ‘God’s favor or protection.’ I think I’ve lived most of my life under that assumption that a ‘blessing’ means something ‘good’ or ‘happy’. As we’ve walked through the last year of our lives in our little family, the Lord has taught me that, sometimes, and maybe even usually, God’s blessings come in the exact opposite form of something ‘good or happy’.
We have two children; but our daughter, Nan, is with the Lord. She lived for thirty minutes after being born, and Clay and I were able to hold her as she took her last breath. This moment has shown to be the greatest blessing on our marriage. This moment, as we watched our own flesh and bones leave all of the sin and anguish of this broken world has breathed new life into our marriage. It has renewed our love for each other, for our son, George, and most of all, it unearthed in us our most primitive love for our own Creator. Never in my life would I have described a situation such as this as a ‘blessing’. But we experienced so much of God’s favor, His protection, and His redeeming love in that little hospital room, and we will never be the same because of it.
I share all of this background, because Morgan and I have shared countless conversations over the past several months about the unexpected journeys the Lord is taking each of us on. I’ve asked almost every person I know to pray for the Cheek family, and I’ve had a few people ask me the question that is written on all of our hearts, for all of our individual lives.
What is their [your, my, his, her, etc.] best-case scenario?
I was sitting at lunch with my mom when she asked me this very question. And this response bubbled up from within me, and I know the Lord has planted this seed of Truth in my heart.
Their [your, my, his, her, etc.] best-case scenario is that Jesus would come back.
When I was pregnant with Nan, the doctors were very sure that her life would be hard, and therefore, gave us very little hope that we would ever be ‘normal’ again. I began to believe that anything that is not ‘good’ or ‘happy’ could not be from the Lord. Then, Hugh reminded Clay and me of the single most important thing we, as believers, can remember.
This is not our home. This world is not as good as it gets.
To an unbeliever, this world is as good as it gets. So anything that doesn’t make this life better/more enjoyable/etc., really has no place in it, and we should get rid of it, or hope for it to pass. But as a believer, this world is used to point us to the Lord, who we will spend Eternity with, and the hard things- the seasons of life that seem to split us in two- are used by the Lord to show us Who He is.
I have gone to Scripture so much throughout this season of my life, and have been overwhelmed by the examples the Lord gives us in His Word of people He loves deeply, that He showed His glory to through extraordinary circumstances. I think about Joseph being sold into slavery by his brothers, Job losing absolutely everything, Jonah being swallowed by the whale, and Paul imprisoned, just to name a few. I think about the horrific circumstances of their lives, and how the Lord used those circumstances to reveal more of Who He is with His people. It is probable that the world wouldn’t describe these men as having ‘blessed lives’, but they knew that this world was not their home. They knew that the best was yet to come, and that it is coming.
I look at my own life, and I can tell you that I would have been too scared to choose the life the Lord has chosen for me. And I don’t say this lightly, but I am thankful that He chose to give us Nan. In those thirty minutes, the Lord allowed us to experience the realness of the resurrection, and we will never again be the same.
I have no idea what you might be facing today. Whatever your life looks like at this moment- I would challenge you to pray that the Lord would remind your heart to long for your Heavenly home. I know that sounds like a heavy thing to pray, but as believers, we should long for oneness with Christ. This world, as beautiful and comfortable as it can be sometimes, is not our home. But our eternal home is coming. And this past year- as excruciatingly hard as it has been- has made my heart excited to experience it.