Let’s face it: we want okay. Okay is rainbows and sunny skies. Okay is book-inspiring romances and magazine-worthy weddings. Okay is cute babies and beautiful houses. Okay is a good salary, reliable retirement plan, dependable medical and life insurance.
Then, BAM! Reality. Problems. Disappointments. Frustrations.
Then, BAM! Uncertainty. Worries. Dilemmas.
Then, BAM! The unexpected. The outside-of-our-control. Free will. Human mistakes. Regrets.
Everything will be okay. But not everything is okay.
[Disclaimer: This is not an etymological discourse on the origins and development of the term okay. If you want to know about that word, you can simply check the hundreds of other articles already written about it.]
Okay has become our own version of cop-out, settle-for-less-but-better-than-nothing hope. Okay has turned into our saving grace for bruised spiritual egos, when our supposedly-well-intended-but-selfish prayers are not answered the way we wanted them to be.
Like when we pray for God’s healing, yet somebody dies anyway.
Like when we pray for financial provision, but the money never made it on time.
Like when we pray for safety and protection, only to find loved ones and strangers harmed or worse.
Everything will be okay, we console ourselves, teary-eyed and broken.
Everything will be okay, we comfort other people, confused and desperate.
Everything will be okay, we demand of God or whomever our faith clings to, quivering in both shattered rage and unstable fear.
But that’s just it: there is beauty even in the senseless things in this world: the scattering of diamonds when a glass slips from our hands, the indelible stains that a toddler leaves on our favorite shirt, burnt roast chicken on the oven and burnt instant noodles on the pan, adorable dogs chewing and ruining your branded shoes. There is beauty in brokenness: as families cry over the coffin of the departed, as lovers tear up and throw away venomously-sweet memorabilia, as people learn to let go of things they love for the things they choose to live for.
Because believe me, everything will be okay.
When the storm takes away the season’s harvest, we don’t just shrug and think, Everything will be okay. We believe so— wasted effort and lost opportunities aside, yet starting over again because it’s the only thing that makes sense. Everything will be okay, God willing, because it takes more than a storm to take away our hope.
When family trouble threaten to break apart our relationships, we don’t just shrug and think, Everything will be okay. We believe so— tainted memories and unhappy reunions aside, yet keeping in touch because that’s what families are about. Everything will be okay, through God’s love and grace, because relational conflicts are not enough to make us give up believing and working together towards our own ideal families.
When heartaches have caused us to doubt in the wonders of romance, we don’t just shrug and think, Everything will be okay. We believe so— nightly tears and countless poems aside, yet cheering on fellow lovers and broken-hearted people, because our failed affections are but a momentary pause in this endless rhythm of our heart, with God’s strength supplying the overflow of love which will only seek out other means to express itself.
Yes, you may not be okay today. That’s okay. You may not be okay tomorrow, too. That’s still okay. And so on.
Because everything will be okay, as long we keep pressing on with faith, with hope, with love— holding on to God’s promises, letting go of today. And one day, maybe we’d get to meet each other and say, “Hey, you’re okay!” And remember the today (or whenever that may be)— when you said, “God, I choose to be okay.”