What’s the best that could happen?

It’s a question I had forgotten how to ask. 

Heavy disappointments clung closely, like a backpack I couldn’t seem to take off. The worst had happened. I’d opened up my heart to hope, and everything crumbled right in front of me.

So, instead I learned to ask, without quite knowing I did–

What’s the worst that could happen? 

When I looked to the future, I braced myself for icy winds and broken hearts. As if preparing yourself for the worst makes the worst any less painful! When I looked to the future, all I expected was my pain on repeat, endlessly looping for only my ears to hear.


Two months ago, almost to the day, I arrived back in New Zealand. I practically dragged my whole body across immigration, and on through customs to finally be here again. During my DTS in Australia, and the three months I volunteered on our base afterwards, I had embraced how much Newcastle was home. I felt understood– even if I was in the midst of crappy stuff– and I had a place and a purpose.

New Zealand? Even though I loved it to bits, it held memories of cultural misunderstanding, separation from the community I wanted to be in, and hard study that drained me. Even though God brought so much healing– I still barely wanted to move, I didn’t want to leave Australia, leap into a season that was very much unknown.

Yet one morning at Hope Centre (my church here in NZ) Teresa asked this question:

What’s the best that could happen?

And I started asking that. Even in the little things. What’s the best that could happen today? And it surprised me how much of the suspicion-mindset still lurked in my thinking. Oh, the people I wanted to hang out with are doing something else. I’ll just have to go home and not do anything fun. As if God designed me to be disappointed.

I think not.

So, instead, What’s the best that could happen today?

Well, that particular day, it wasn’t what I expected. And it took a little while before it came together.

But it was something far better. Just imagine an evening romp through New Zealand rainforest that’s basically like Rivendell and there you have it.

What’s the worst that could happen? It’s a question that I ask when I don’t know how much God loves me, and when I’m hurting beyond measure.

What’s the best that can happen? Oh, it’s a question that I ask when I’m healing from hope deferred, and finally, finally, when I start to remember how much God loves me.

So, start to ask that question.

You might just be surprised at the result.

Photos: Oropi, Tauranga, NZ. May 2016.