Oct 13

No Grace for “What If?”

2010 at 4:30 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Fear & Anxiety | Motherhood

What do our mothering fears have in common? They are all in our imagination.

Our fertile minds generate countless scenarios whereby one calamity or another befalls our children: What if my son rebels when he hits the teenage years? What if my daughter doesn’t want to be my friend when she grows up? What if my son gets in a car accident? What if my daughter is diagnosed with leukemia?

After thirty-four years of mothering, I’ve discovered that most of the bad things I imagined never actually came true. But there have been other trials—ones I never anticipated.

That’s why Elisabeth Elliot’s wise advice has been invaluable to me in fighting fear: “There is no grace for your imagination.”

God does not sprinkle grace over every path my fear takes. He does not rush in with support and encouragement for every doomsday scenario I can imagine.

No, instead He warns me to stay off those paths: “Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil” (Ps. 37:8).

There is no grace for our imagination. That’s why our fearful imaginings produce bad fruit: anxiety, lack of joy, futile attempts to control.

There is no grace for our imagination. But God does promise sufficient, abundant grace for every real moment of our lives. That’s why the Proverbs 31 woman can “laugh at the future in contrast with being worried or fearful about it” (ESV Study Bible note on Pr. 31:25)

There is no grace for our imagination. But there will be grace for our mothering future—the moment it arrives.