Only eight letters, but it is a word filled with possibility. With potential. With hope. With destiny. With power.
Sure, I say “whatever You want God”. I pray “whatever You will God”. I believe “whatever You promise God”.
But do I really mean it?
Am I really open to whatever God has purposed?
Am I really available to whatever God’s direction is?
Am I really obedient to whatever God’s instructions are?
Am I really content with whatever path God leads me down?
Am I really joyful with whatever my circumstances are? Even when things don’t work out the way I want? Am I really at peace when my idea of whatever bumps into God’s divine plans – and they don’t line up? When they disagree? When God says “no”?
Because God has His whatever in mind. It has eternal value. It has His best enfolded into it. It contains more goodness and blessing than I can imagine.
But His whatever comes with a price. I have to let go of all my ideas and dreams of what I want to grab hold of His plans. I have to lay down and possibly walk away from what I want to fully embrace His purposes. I have to let go of the emotions choking the life out of me – disappointments, hurts, pain, shame, anger – to allow His love to redefine and fill me. I have to believe His plans are for my good, even if my circumstances or feelings contradict His goodness. I have to believe His way is the best.
I have to think positively, no matter what is happening to me, in me, or around me (Philippians 4:8). I need to be content with the season I am in and go with His flow while He’s trying to teach me, grow me, and change me (Philippians 4:11). I need to find ways to love people by serving them (1 Peter 4:10, Matthew 25:40). I need to stop judging people, their circumstances, and their decisions (Romans 2:1).
So I sit here and wonder if I really have the right attitude. Am I a believer who truly and wholeheartedly says “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go” (Joshua 1:16)? Am I a follower whose foundation is “And now, here we are, in your hands; do with us as it seems good and right to do to us” (Joshua 9:25, Jeremiah 26:14)? Am I seeking Him regularly so that I am “a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3)? Do I try to honor God in all my decisions, giving preference to His way instead of my will (1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, Matthew 6:10)?
I admit that I struggle with those “whatever” seasons. When it isn’t entirely clear which direction He is pointing me. Where I get a small vision of the fulfillment of a dream, only to have it not come to pass. Where I taste the full extent of His goodness only to feel like He pulled the spoon away and said “no more”. Where the future is cloudy and uncertain, so I can be easily persuaded by fickle feelings and erratic emotions.
And I feel like He is telling me that these “whatever” seasons are the most important. Because I have to decide if I truly believe He has my best interest in His sights and that He is ordering my steps so I find His best. Because I have to decide if my words are just the fading vapor of an insecure faith or the product of a deeply rooted truth. Because I have to decide if my heart is lukewarm (Revelations 3:14-16) and uncommitted (James 1:6-8) or a spiritual garden of growth (Matthew 13:23, Galatians 5:22-23) and love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
So when I am facing a whatever moment, how will I act and react? What will I think? Will people benefit or cringe from being around me?
For each one is an opportunity from God. A chance to recite my faith or reinforce my doubts and fears. A chance to walk forward with grace or back up in shame. A chance to stand strong in spiritual power or to retreat in human limitations. A chance to be wrapped in His love or to be isolated by human emotions.
A chance to do better. To think bigger. To speak boldly. To love brazenly. To hope unconditionally. To believe fearlessly. To know positively.
No matter what happens, I will always believe in God. And I can only pray that such audacious and radical faith will transfer into each and every one of my whatever moments so that He is honored and His influence is obvious.
Thank You, Father, for using all of our whatever moments. Help us to be more like Jesus, who prayed “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36). Help us to be focused on You and steady in Your love. AMEN.
Marie Fremin. 2/7, 2/8, and 2/10/16.