The Forbidden Room

There is a room that every wise believer should never enter. Not a literal room, but a room in the mind–a place in one’s imagination. It is a room that is filled with poison. The very air plagues the soul…withering courage, undermining strength, and weakening faith. And yet, the room draws us like a magnet. It lures us, ever pulling us deeper and deeper. You’ve been there. We all have. What is this room? Merely take a look at the sign above the doorway, it is the “What If Room,” the room of hypothetical futures. The room holds your nightmares…the terrible, never-ending “what ifs” of life…the things you fear might happen “some day” and the things you fear would sink you. Now do you know the room I’m speaking of? Does it sound familiar? I know you’ve been there. You probably started going there as a child. The simple “what if” scenarios of childhood have simply grown more complex as you’ve aged. And now…now there are too many to count and some too horrific to even look at directly, too terrifying to even name. I like to think of each scenario as a weight…the kind that can be placed on your shoulders. Each weight has a name on it: ”unemployment,” ”chronic illness,” “loss of a spouse,” “loss of a child.” In our foolishness (or foolhardiness) we are drawn into the room and lured to the weights. It is as if we desire to prove to ourselves that if the weights were ever placed on our shoulders we would be able to bear them. Desperate to feel secure–to be assured that the weight wouldn’t crush us–we draw near a weight. In our minds we begin pondering the scenario. We play it all out in our minds then we courageously try to imagine how we would bear it. We try to lift the weight if you’re following my analogy. But it’s too much. In our minds, it is always too much. With a thud, the weight falls to the ground–the ringing of the crashing metal echoes along the walls of the room and our courage evaporates. “I couldn’t bear it…” “I could not bear it if ____ were to happen.” We shrink from the room. We cower; our dread of the future thickens. Our vulnerability grows. We have measured our strength against the weight of the “what if,” and we have seen how short we fall.
And this is why this room is forbidden to believers. God knows it is a room that destroys the courage of His children. He knows it is a room that creates anxiety, stirs up reluctance, and causes fear to fester. More importantly, He knows it is a room built upon lies, a room structured around a flawed premise. It is a room that has failed to take into account God’s grace. You see, when we enter the room we are seeking to determine if our strength will be enough to bear the future; yet our strength will never be all we have to bear the future. Followers of God are never armed with their strength alone. We are promised God’s grace, and more to the point, we are promised His grace will be enough. For every ounce of pressure, our God has assured us there will be given a pound of grace. For every quiver of our knees there will be a mighty arm to steady. His grace will be enough. It will be sufficient. No “What If” has the power to crush a child of God. No scenario too great; no weight too heavy. He has given us this pledge: His grace will be enough. Do not imagine a future apart from His grace. Do not attempt to lift a weight when He is not by your side. Turn away from the weights. Shut the door to the room. We need not enter there. For though the future lies before us dark and threatening, beneath the words “What If…” God has written “Then Grace.”
“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Cor. 12:9