“Come what may.”
Those are scary words, aren’t they? They are confident words, yes. They are bold, proud, and free words. Yes, yes, and yes.
But they are also scary.
I made peace with another version of this phrase, a few years back. This other version fell into my lap during a Bible Study and they were not words I wanted to hear. They were not the message I’d been expecting.
My husband went through a divorce before we married. He has a little girl from that marriage. She’ll be 14-years-old soon, and he has spent her entire life praying for a relationship with her. I can’t tell you how much of my own prayer life has been devoted to this, begging God to reconcile my husband and his daughter, even my husband and his ex-wife.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not praying for their marriage to be re-instated. That would obviously be a big mess. He’s my husband now, and we also have two children together. She is remarried as well. She too has children with her current spouse. But I still pray for reconciliation, because I worship a God who seems to think it’s important. Forgiveness and redemption are cornerstones in the Christian faith. So yes, I pray for my husband and his ex-wife to find peace over their past, to even become friends and to make parenting decisions together and to see each other through God’s eyes.
I understand this is not something that commonly occurs. I don’t care. I pray for it anyway.
A few years back, I was in a small group studying the book of Esther. In the study, Beth Moore uses the phrase “Reversal of Destiny.” That is what I want for my family. Currently, we seem destined to remain fractured. My sons have reached twelve and nine barely knowing their sister, and she barely knows them. I can’t put into words the pain I see on my husband’s face, how it wrecks him to return her to her mother after the few hours he spends with her (about 18 hours a year, at this point in time). She doesn’t know him well enough to understand what she is missing.
So I pray for a reversal of destiny, and I feel certain God has promised one.
I followed the Esther study with a study on the book of Daniel. That’s when Jesus dropped a scripture into my lap. He laid it out before me and said, “This is your theme this year.”
I didn’t want it, friends. I didn’t like it. It made me cry.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (Daniel 3:16)
It was a long year. Again and again, I read that verse (it is written on an index card and taped to the wall beside our thermostat). Again and again, two words lodged in my throat.
Could I say these words?
Jesus, I know You will reconcile my husband and his daughter, my sons and their sister, and I know You will reverse this destiny, but I will continue to love and serve you EVEN IF YOU DON’T.
Come what may, friends. Come what may.
As the years have passed, I return to that verse and apply it to other things.
Jesus, I will serve You, even if You never grant my publishing dreams.
Jesus, I will serve You, even if I never get to live near my family again.
Jesus, I will serve You, even if I never win the battle with depression.
Can you say the same?
They are hard words we’re asking you to think about this month. But they are good words too. They are words that keep your priorities in order and your prayers within the bounds of the Father’s will.
Jesus, I will serve You…
Come what may.
*originally published on Middle Places