From What If To What Is
What if everything you touched turned to chocolate?
What if you had four legs and no arms?
What if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life?
These are the type of questions that my best friend became an expert at answering when we were growing up. I loved playing the “what if” game. It was honestly probably one of my favorite games we played. And as funny as some of the situations were, there was part of me that found great comfort in the answers my friend provided. I appreciated that she was willing to play along and indulge my weird ideas.
Now that I’m older I still play the “what if” game, but it has changed. The stakes are way higher, and the answers are unclear.
What if I accept this job?
What if I’m all alone?
What if I fall short?
Everything is uncertain and scary. As I worry, I feel myself drift further from reality as I invent untrue scenarios for how things may play out in the future. I drift further from the truth of God’s provision, care, and guidance in my life. I try to control all the “what if” situations I see the capacity for becoming reality in the future. And instead of enjoying the present, I become progressively engrossed in the potential problems that may arise. I become so concerned with all the “what if’s” that I miss what is.
God knew I would do this. He knew I would need to be continually reminded to not worry or fear. And throughout the Bible he spoke to this by reassuring his fearful followers of his character and presence. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells the Israelites “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God.” Psalm 118:6 reminds me that “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.” Jesus himself said in Matthew 10:29-31, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” And the list could continue. Reading these verses quiets my heart before the God of the universe who sees, knows, and cares for me.
Out of curiosity, I decided to play the ultimate “what if” game with God. I thought of my worst “what if.” Then, I asked myself if God would still be good, sovereign, and loving even if that happened. My answer? Yes. Because my circumstances don’t shape what I believe about God—what I believe about God shapes how I view my circumstances. Even if the worst possible thing I could think of happens, God is still God.
So, if I accept the job and things don’t go well? God is still God. If I end up in a place where I know no one and have to start all over? God is still God. If I miss the mark and don’t measure up? God is still God.
I don’t have all the answers to the looming “what if” questions surrounding my life circumstances. But as I focus on God’s consistent character I am better able to see what is.
And what is?
God is (Exodus 3:14).
God is good (Psalm 145:5-7).
God is sovereign (Colossians 1:15-20).
God is loving (Romans 8: 33-39).
God is kind (Titus 3:4-7).
God is in control (Proverbs 19:21).
Those things never change.
I will never get rid of all the “what if’s” in my life. But I can rest in the what is, knowing whole-heartedly that God will be with me through any of the “what if’s” that may come.
-By Becca Walters