There is no such thing as imaginary days.
By God’s grace, the barrage of lies has subsided. It used to be daily that I would awaken to immediate grenades and atom bombs, but now the attacks are rare. The truth of the gospel has continually defeated them. “It’s true, I am a wretch. But back off Satan. Jesus has defeated you.”
Yet, occasionally there is a different stealth tactic. Minor side note: I smile at myself for using military analogies when I know I’d be a blubbering mess at the first hint of a sharp command. But I digress.
Sometimes the stealthy lies are accusations, but sometimes they are questions. Recently the lie was “What if God took Jon because He knew Jon would flake out? Did He see future days where my husband wouldn’t have passionately pursued Christ?” You can imagine the sorrow surrounding those thoughts.
But God used a friend’s profound words to permanently defeat that lie. “There are no such things as imaginary days.” For imaginary days reflect an inaccurate view of God’s sovereignty.
Therefore, what ifs and imaginary days reside with Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.
If God planned the last day of Jon’s life, then there were no more days! They didn’t exist. How quickly and how marvelously those words penetrated my heart. There were no more days. David had something to say about this in Psalm 139:
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (v13-16)
How freeing it is to reject the lie of imaginary days! I rest knowing that God chose the best for Jon and for me. I rest believing that God didn’t foresee some egregious failure, and therefore decided to “take him out.” I rest knowing God developed him into the man He wanted him to be. Jon dying at the height of his earthly walk with Christ was in God’s plan from eternity past. Even more beautiful to me is that Jon’s spiritual decline lies merely in the realm of the imaginary. In God’s sovereignty, it didn’t exist.
By grace Jesus was the BEST thing to Jon, but my husband stilled failed. He was still a sinner, but a sinner covered by Christ’s righteousness and greatly loved by God.
The truth is that the completed work of Christ not only cancelled out the record of debt against him, but also imparted ALL of Christ’s righteousness to him. The $50 word for that is justification. God was also transforming Jon to become what he was already declared to be. And this is sanctification.
Another friend shared the imagery of a line graph. The line may have some zig zags, but over the course of time there’s always an upward and forward trend. I love that! A believer’s sanctification is ALWAYS forward. The idea of two steps forward, four steps backward is just heresy. Furthermore, God always completes the work He starts (Philippians 1:6).
And so at death, the work of sanctification in Jon had reached it’s proper perfection. He got to trade sanctification in for glorification. Never ending new. Spotless. Perfect. That’s awesome.
All that to say, I’m learning to reject imaginary days. And not just the imaginary days of Jon’s life, but the what ifs and the imaginary days of mine.
I’m not guaranteed future days, but if they come, they will be the real days of God’s plan, rather than the ones I create in my mind. Of this I am certain, in joy and in sorrow, in trial and in triumph, God’s real days will be BEST. They will be ridiculously better than the feeble products of my imagination.
God orders my days. He knows His plans for me. Therefore, I rejoice in THIS day, a real day given by God.