What if you’re wrong?
I have heard and seen this question asked. In more difficult times, times when I have felt less in control than I would like to feel, or ironically, particularly self-sufficient, I have even asked myself this question. What if we are wrong about this “following Christ”? What if there is no God, no Jesus, no heaven, no hell? What if I am wrong?
I examined where this relationship and faith has led me…
This faith led me to believe at age 12 that I had a gift, and with that gift came a purpose beyond what my junior high mind could see or conceive.
This relationship led me to a boldness to believe I was worth more than to allow a particular boss to ridicule me, to curse me out, to disrespect me. I refused to accept it based upon Who I belonged to. And, he respected me for it.
This relationship led me to make a decision to lead a life of sexual purity and celibacy, after two years of rebellion, and quite honestly, an earthly hell. As a result, there were no worries of unwanted pregnancy, STDs, wondering about the faithfulness of guys, or my worth as a woman. It weeded out the guys who were interested in “one thing” and saved me time, dignity and energy.
This faith lead me to leave a job that I did not like, to take a risk, move to a different state, and go to seminary – jobless and without knowing a soul.
This faith led me to believe that God would provide my every need once I arrived there. Sure, I doubted at times. But He provided. Every bill was paid, I never missed a meal, paid off a car, and left graduate school with a mere $1000 loan that was paid off within months after graduation. More importantly, I left with life-long, life-giving relationships.
This faith led me to believe I should teach at a Christian school in the inner-city in Dallas, forgoing my dream to be in international business. It turned out to be some of the best years of my life, and the impact of that decision is still bearing fruit.
This faith led me to South Africa, and Ghana, to share hope, encouragement, and yes, this faith. It was in Ghana that I realized you do not get more “international” than ministry, as the good news of God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice applies to all socio-economic levels and nationalities, translates into any language, and is not confined by boundaries and borders.
This faith led me to a work with a ministry in Orlando, through which I would meet my husband.
This relationship led me to a man with similar faith, with a heart to please God by committing to one woman – in body and thought. A man who wants to see his children grow to learn to love God and love people. A man who, though imperfect, believes his calling in our home is to love his wife as Christ loves the church – so he makes self-less choices and sacrifices regularly, even when she does not deserve it.
This faith led me to two more states, with the same promises – that God would meet us there, and that He would provide. Even in times of difficulty and doubt, and though it did not always look the way I wanted it to, He was faithful.
This relationship leads me to believe that there is freedom in forgiveness. I can choose to forgive because God requires it, because He modeled it, but in the end I am the one released from bitterness, anger and frustration – I am free.
This faith leads me to believe that though I have lost loved ones (mother, grandfathers, grandmother, an unborn child) I will see them again in heaven, because we shared the same faith.
This faith leads me to believe that though I will have trials, God is there with me. Pain will hurt. Sorrow will come. Life will simply suck sometimes. Yet, He is in the midst of it all, ready and willing to provide comfort, if not clarity and hope.
This faith led me to realize that IF I am wrong, I have lost little and gained much.
In this life…
I have gained hope.
I have gained joy.
I have gained peace.
I have gained comfort.
I have gained freedom.
I have gained community.
I have gained purpose.
But if we are “right” (and I believe we are), if there is a God (and I believe there is), and there is a Christ who died on the cross for our sins, and He is the only way, the truth, the life (and I believe He did).
If there is a heaven (and I believe there is),
then most importantly…
I have gained eternal life in heaven, where there will be no sorrow, no pain, no death.
That is a “risk” worth taking.
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in Me and believes in Me will never ever die. Do you believe this….?”
(John 11:25-26 NLT)