These days I am reading about the exploits of the Israelites who left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea fleeing the mighty Ramses and his Egyptian army. If one were to trace the path the Israelites took and their wanderings, they took over 40 years and one generation to cross an area which their descendants (the modern state of Israel) successfully captured in the Six Day War of 1967. Of the various tales from this long sojourn there is one that strikes a chord in answering the most profoundest of human conditions: the worst-case scenario.
We all have a tendency to get carried away whenever disaster strikes our lives. We tend to think and ponder over the worst that could/may happen. This causes us to ponder over a time that might happen and the consequences that may occur subsequently.
When the Israelites left Egypt, they got carried away with their pitiable circumstances in the wilderness. Many times they repeatedly rebelled against their leaders and their God. Every time they had their way with their constant and consistent acts of rebellion despite many acts of benevolence and subsistence by their God.
What does this teach us? It is very easy to imagine the doom and gloom scenario. It is very easy to give up and say it is not possible and that you will never get cured from this illness or never get the promotion that you wished for. The difficult part is to believe that the impossible can happen- and that any worst case scenario can be outlived or outgrown. Every circumstance in life that we are thrown into challenges our belief systems. It is easy to feel isolated, dejected and even defeated. It is easy to give up and throw in the towel. We find ourselves dejected at times on the slow progress made in the wilderness of our lives. The hardest part is to believe that anything can change or improve. But most of the time, it is the only channel of hope that we have for further progress.
In the story of the Israelites, when they sent out twelve spies to check out the so-called fertile lands of Canaan. All of them came back mentioning about the giants that occupied that land, yet just two out of the ten came back with a proposal that we can take the land through faith. When the general consensus went against the two, the Israelites found themselves roaming a wilderness for forty years and a generation, before they took the land that they to this date call home.
Some days ago, I was listening to a podcast by Michael Hyatt where he interviews his show host Michele Cushatt for an episode titled ‘Making peace with an unexpected life’. She mentions about the various struggles in her life in addition to fighting with cancer. There she relates her life to the story of God providing the Israelites with manna from heaven. The Israelites were specifically instructed to collect the manna that fell from heaven that they just needed for each day. But like any human being, they kept collecting much more than what they actually needed, thinking about the future. What happened was that in the night these manna became maggots and had to subsequently thrown away the next day. The point being illustrated here was that even in the wilderness, God gives you subsistence that you just need, nothing more, nothing less. You can read more about Michelle in her book Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life.
Our fears and apprehensions regarding the future of ourselves and/or our loved ones may come true and we could be cast into the wilderness of life. It is important for us to remain strong in faith and to continuously believe as we sojourn through that wilderness, believing that the oasis of comfort and relief will be reached sooner than we can think.
Summarizing, worst-case scenarios that you fear today may or may not come true. But you can actually use it to make it your best-case scenario.
Image: Gathering of Manna by Francesco Bacchiacca