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And Even if He Doesn’t

In the Christmas of 1964 I was five years old. All I wanted to find under the tree was a record player. Back in those days record players looked like little wooden suitcases. (I know, I know…I’m old.) You opened the suitcase and found the turntable inside. Christmas arrived and (lo and behold) there was a package under the tree that was the right size, right shape, right…everything. I could hardly wait! I tore into the paper and (sure enough!) found a suitcase inside. I still remember the excitement I felt as I snapped it open, and. . .found it completely empty.

It was just a suitcase. The disappointment was keen. I couldn’t believe the cruelty of it all. Of course, I went on to have years of fun with that suitcase. I used it for my doll’s clothes. I used it for all sorts of things. But, oh! The depth of pain when my request wasn’t granted. I’d gotten my hopes up. . .for nothing.

Jump ahead 56 years. Tonight I was walking the dogs. As is often the case, I was praying and listening to worship music as we made our way through the neighborhood. I’ve had a lot of really big/intense prayer requests, of late. As we charismatics like to say, “I’m standing and believing” for all of them to come to pass, even the really big ones that seem impossible.
As I walked, I had the most random thought flit through my mind, related to one of my most pressing prayer requests: “What if it doesn’t happen? Then what?” Like a good charismatic I pushed that negative thought aside and said, “It will.”

Just as quickly, I heard it again: “But, what if it doesn’t?”

Ouch. This was getting real. I kept walking, and (without hesitation) told the Lord, “Then You’ll still be God.”

He then began to take me through every one of my prayer requests, (things I bring to Him regularly and fervently). One by one He asked, “But what if it doesn’t happen like this?”

Man. Again I said (to each one): “Then You’ll still be God.”

I rounded a corner and a new (unfamiliar) song came on. I was surprised because I have a playlist, of sorts, and that one has never popped up. But, as I listened, I fell in love with the lyrics:

There is no other name but the name that is Jesus

He who was and still is, and will be through it all

So come what may in the space between

All the things unseen and this reckoning

And I know I will never be alone

And I know I will never be alone

There’ll be another in the fire

Standing next to me

There’ll be another in the waters

Holding back the seas

And should I ever need reminding

How good You’ve been to me

I’ll count the joy come every battle ‘

Cause I know that’s where You’ll be

It hit me: Even if God didn’t answer my requests as I hoped, He was promising never to leave me as I moved forward. Even if I ended up going through the fire (whatever that looked like) He would be in there with me.
Then came the final lyrics (which were as much spoken off the cuff as sung as normal lyrics). They almost took my breath away:

“And even if He doesn’t, I will praise Him!”

“And even if He doesn’t, I’ll stand tall!”

“And even if He doesn’t, I’m not bowing to this world.”

“And even if He doesn’t, I’m not changing my confession.”

“And even if He doesn’t,

I can see the light in the darkness as the darkness bows to Him

I can hear the roar in the heavens

As the space between wears thin

I can feel the ground shake beneath us

As the prison walls cave in

Nothing stands between us

Nothing stands between us.”

There is was. The final answer. The RIGHT answer:

Nothing stands between us.

Nothing stands between us.

Even if He doesn’t, nothing will ever stand between us. It’s not enough to believe that He’s still God and still on the throne. I have to also come to commit that I won’t let anything come between us, should I get the suitcase and not the record player.

Even if He doesn’t. . .He’ll still be mine and I’ll still be His…and nothing will ever change that.

(Another in the Fire, Hillsong United: lyrics in comment box)

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