Monday, September 23, 2013

What if?

The question of "what if" threatens and haunt us. The unknowns of the future can be scary. There seems to be a million and one ways our life could go wildly off course. On one hand we think we have control. But on another hand we know that there are countless ways in which we have absolutely no control. These "what ifs" are the things that paralyze us in fear. They stop us from taking chances and going out on a limb. They keep us in our safe, comfortable box.
But what if we turned up "what ifs" into "what nexts"? What if, instead of focusing on the ways in which life could go south, we started looking at the unknowns as opportunities? Every curve in the road that we can't see past could become, not a drop off, but a paradise. The dissolving of plans wouldn't be the end, just a change in direction. What if we started seeing our greatest obstacles as God's greatest opportunities? Our biggest fears as a chance to experience God's overwhelming courage?
Our "what ifs" would be turned upside down.

Life is often colored by fear: fear of what the future will bring, fear of an accident, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of failure. We stop dead in our tracks because we are afraid that somehow we will slip or fall. The outcome of our actions is unknown, subject to forces outside of our control. So we make excuses as to why we shouldn't act at all. We don't do our part in making something happen because we are afraid we will hit a wall somewhere along the way.
Fear is not of God. Fear is of satan. He wants to paralyze us. He wants us to be stuck glued to the bench on the sidelines instead of up playing in the game. He loves to use "what ifs" and the uncertainty they produce to keep us from moving forward in faith. He uses them to stop our walk.
The Bible urges us to cast off fear. Don't live life in the light of the "what ifs." Walk by faith, not by sight. You may see potential road blocks and land mines all over the path, so you stop. You don't make a move. What if one of those boulders gets in my way? Better to just stay put. 
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us not to live by what we see. Live by what we know; live by faith. God might have a marvelous victory for you at the end of that road lined with what you classify as "danger." For God, getting past all of those obstacles is no trouble at all. If it is His will that you make it past them without an encounter along the way then He will see to it that every rock stays in its place and that your foot doesn't slip. And if it is His will that something does happen to block your way, He will either take you in another direction or He will show you how strong He is by overcoming it. Either way, you are safe with Him as your guide. You are sure to have a wonderful journey. How you will get there is not known to you or I, but one thing is for sure: the trip with Him is better than it is on your own.
If you live in fear you won't get very far. Your steps will be labored, not enjoyable. You will live in constant anxiety, wondering when the next shoe is going to drop. With God, you live in freedom. There won't be a need for fear because you are safe in the mighty arms of the master of your destiny. He holds the key, knows the future and created the very path you are on!
Walk by faith. There is no guarantee that this walk will always be fun or easy. Changes are there will be real difficulties along the way. But the beauty is that you are not the one in control of your difficulties. You are simply walking behind your guide. He will remove the road block. He will clear the way. He will show you the detour when you need it and take you down scenic side roads you might have missed.
There is an amazing journey prepared for you. Don't let the fear of "what if" paralyze you and cause you to miss all the beauty that lies ahead. Jump on board, embracing the faith that lives in excitement and anticipation of all that God has planned - what ifs and all.

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