Most of us live in a state of “if.” Our decisions all ride on this simple part of speech that exists between what happens to “this” if “that” happens. Although this conjunction seems miniscule, each one of us are slaves to it. Living at “if” keeps us from taking a leap in our careers, relationships, and ultimately, and most importantly, faith. Why? Because “if” carries a huge load of uncertainty and fear.
The Catholic Priest and theologian, Henri Nouwen once wrote it this way:
“Look at the many ‘if’ questions we raise: What am I going to do if I do not find a spouse, a house, a job, a friend, a benefactor? What am I going to do if they fire me, if I get sick, if an accident happens, if I lose my friends, if my marriage does not work out, if a war breaks out? What if tomorrow the weather is bad, the buses are on strike, or an earthquake happens? What if someone steals my money, breaks into my house, rapes my daughter, or kills me?”
When we put all our stock in “ifs,” we end up taking out a second mortgage in the house of fear and we live there in a state of paralysis.
Yet, God has a funny way of eliminating the “if,” and subsequent fear, from your life. John 14:23 says, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” A true “home” is one where you don’t have to be afraid. If God promises to make that home inside you, no matter where you go, fear will have no purchase.
In this Summer’s reading selection, “The Ragamuffin Gospel,” Brennan Manning powerfully puts it this way, “Jesus says, You have a home. I am your home. Claim me as your home. You will find it to be the intimate place where I have found my home. It is right where you are, in your innermost being. In your heart.“
Having once been evicted from my parents home, in their defense, I had it coming, I know what it feels like to ache for ones home–ones people. All across the world refugees and immigrants long for their native homes too. And in every single one of us, we are all desperately hungering for our eternal home, whether we know it or not. Each one of us has a deep yearning to be at home with God again.
God promises that you won’t have to wait to die to achieve the Kingdom of God, your home. He has promised to build it right inside of you.
So, let’s remove the “ifs” and talk about the “whens”. God’s grace is available to you when you’re ready to accept it. God’s forgiveness is vast when you’re able to receive it. God’s compassion and love is infinite, when you welcome it into your life.
It’s always there and when you see it, you’ll be amazed by it!