Maybe most of us fear hitting rock-bottom because we somehow became convinced it is the one place in the cosmos where God does not exist. Most everyone has a scenario where they don’t let their minds travel. This scenario is the ugliest, hairiest, most intimidating place that your mind can conceive. It is the thing you dread the most. Your rock-bottom is shaped differently than mine, and ours both hold a different aroma than the person you rode next to in morning traffic last week. We are convinced that we can handle just about anything which might come our way in life…but not that thing. That one thing, we are convinced, would likely be the end of us if it ever came to pass.
“For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock.” – Psalm 27:5
The bottom line about the rock-bottom is that God is the Rock you will find when you bottom out. Fear breeds avoidance. We do not wish to allow our minds to play out the worst case scenarios that distress our spirit. We live on the unconfronted side of all the “What If’s?” that threaten us. What if I am not healed? What if my marriage does not make it? What if I never find a mate? What if I lose my job? What if I never get out of debt? What if I miss my life-purpose? Go ahead and add your own ugly, hairy most intimidating scenario to the list. Chances are that you are like most of us and push out the thought as quickly as it enters into your mind. We are quite good at that. Yet because we too often handle our greatest fears in this manner, they continue to haunt us from season to season and year to year. We never really go there. But let’s do go there today and see if we cannot find some help. What if our own personal nightmare scenario became our reality?
The truest response to that unpleasant possibility is for us to acknowledge that our Father would be there when it occurred, and that all of who He is and what He has promised would still be true for us and still active on our behalf. We would still be the objects of His love. He would not leave us in the cold, isolating and overwhelming uncertainty that we sense when the worst moment finds us. He would not be weakened at all, though we will acutely sense our own limitations in that hour. He would preserve the most important things and He would supply everything then which we currently lack now. One of the reasons that those scenarios seem terrifying to us at times is because we aren’t equipped today for them. We are not resourced in theory with the things that He will bring us in actuality. You will have instant grace-resources in the urgency of the moment but, likely, not before that moment actually arrives. This is one reason we marvel at how people press on through circumstances that we think would do us in if we were in their shoes. They have been supplied the necessary grace. Their shoes are laced up for the occasion by God Himself. He knows and grants us what we all need when life brings us to a crash landing. The sum of the matter is that the only thing that is promised to us on a permanent basis is the unchanging personhood of God. Rock-bottom experiences serve to reveal whether that promise from Him of His faithful Self is enough for us. Most of us want more than that if we are being honest. We really want God plus immunity from that one thing that strikes high anxiety in our hearts.
I’m suggesting right now that you do not need to spend another day in dread. Do not avoid the “What If?” that haunts you. For the followers of Jesus there is a “Well, Then…” to every “What If?” That “Well, then…” is the assurance that God will absolutely see you through, no matter what your what-if is. He will see you through it if it comes to pass. He will be so close to you. He’s not going anywhere without you. As a matter of fact, you will experience a nearness to Him like you have never experienced before. You will learn His faithfulness, His compassion, His love, His power, His wisdom and His devotion to you. You will also learn what it means to endure like Jesus did, to abide like Jesus did, to wait like Jesus did and then to pray in courage like Jesus did, “Nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done, Father.” Rock bottom is where we are crucially formed to be most like Jesus who suffered before He triumphed.
This is what occurs when the rock-bottoms manifest. Temporary things fade off, and then everlasting elements come to stay. In the end, your rock-bottom will be permanently exchanged for His highest of heights. He will be there for you too. So we press on in calm assurance that nothing in life can usher you out of the presence of the One who has pledged Himself to you forever.