Do you know how to fend off a shark? Survive a poisonous snake attack? Land a plane? Survive if your parachute fails to open?
Me neither. But thank goodness I have “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook”.
I think it was given to me as a gag gift a few years ago. But part of me wants to make sure I read it just in case a worst case scenario really does happen. I wouldn’t want to face the poisonous snake knowing that if I had just read the book I would have known what to do.
I thought about the book after noticing something I had written in the margin of my Bible. I was reading the story of Jairus in Mark 5, and how he came to Jesus asking Him to heal his sick daughter. But Jesus got delayed by the woman who touched His hem and by the time He was done dealing with that, someone came to let Jairus know it was too late. His daughter had died.
Next to the story I had written, “When the worst thing happens”.
And that’s the point of the story. What to do when the worst thing happens. When Jesus heard that the girl was dead, He turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”
Jairus didn’t know what would happen next. He only knew the worst thing had already happened. Jesus knew it too. But Jesus also knew the rest of the story. And that’s why He could look into the eyes of this desperate and grieving father and say, “Don’t be afraid. Just believe”.
Is that our response when the worst thing happens? Do we turn our fear and desperation over to God and believe that He has it all under control? Sometimes the worst thing does happen, sometimes we think that it might happen. But either way, our response needs to be to turn to the all-knowing, all-wise and all-loving God, and believe that He knows what He’s doing.
Jesus did heal Jairus’ daughter. But even if He had chosen to work in another way, it doesn’t change what He said we should do when things fall apart.
My Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook is entertaining, and quite possibly useful should I ever encounter the highly unlikely perils it describes. But more importantly, I have another survival handbook. The best one. The one with the very simple, yet most powerful instruction of all when the worst case scenario happens, or we worry that it will.
“Do not be afraid. Just believe.”
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Mark 5:36
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. Romans 4:20-21
For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ Isaiah 41:13
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Psalm 46:2