Note: I originally posted this about a year ago but a recent conversation with a friend brought it to mind. I think I needed to ask “What if?” again. Maybe you do too …
It’s a question we’ve all asked. It’s a question that taunts and torments many in the dark of night …
What if it doesn’t work out? What if the unthinkable happens? What if I don’t get that job? What if my marriage doesn’t survive? What if we lose the house? What if the test results confirm a bad diagnosis? What if the kids really aren’t okay? What if I never get through this overwhelming grief and disappointment? What if I end up alone? What if I never overcome this addiction?
What if things never change and this is as good as it gets?
And those are just a few of them. There are others. There are “what if’s” so deep — so dark — so scary — that we dare not give them words. We dare not speak them out. Haunting “what if’s” that lurk in the deep recesses of our hearts and minds, barely touching the surface of our consciousness.
But they’re there. They’re there waiting for the first sign of trouble to pop up and scream “I told you so!” They’re the hidden joy-killers. The silent peace-snatchers. The diabolical hope-destroyers.
What if … ?
The Lord has been confronting some of my “what if’s” lately. Some I didn’t know were there. Some I thought I’d dealt with. Or I thought I knew better than to think such things in the first place. But in the dark–in the quiet–the reality of a few lingering fears have surfaced. My heart has betrayed me–revealing secret places of unrest and bringing light to the very issue the One who sees all knew all along …
I still don’t trust him as completely as I’d like to think I do.
I still don’t trust him as much as I want to.
But he is eternally patient with me. He is unfathomably kind. And in his patience and kindness, he has been challenging my “what if’s” with a few of his own …
What if he really is as good as he says he is?
What if I’ve heard only the faintest whispers of his greatness and glimpsed only the tiniest glimmers of his glory?
What if my eyes have not seen, my ears have not heard, and my mind has not conceived what he has prepared for me–and for all those who love him?
What if his grace is sufficient and he wins with any hand?
What if he restores double for all my losses and brings something more beautiful than I can fathom out of the ashes of every disappointment and failure?
What if he opens the storehouses of heaven and pours out such blessing I really can’t contain it?
What if I really am as blessed and highly favored as he says I am?
What if the God of Angel Armies is always for me and with me–and nothing is too hard for him?
What if despite discouraging circumstances and apparent detours, all his promises are still yes and amen?
What if goodness and mercy really will follow me all the days of my life?
What if suddenly I see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living?
What if the “Master Potter” is fashioning me into a vessel of honor for the display of his glory?
What if the plans he has for me, and those I love, are always for good–to give us hope and a future?
What if he really will do immeasurably more than all I can hope or imagine?
What if his love really N.E.V.E.R (ever) fails?
What if … ?
Go ahead and ask. I dare you …