"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What IF...?

   My former line of reasoning for "What if" questions looked something like this -

If we can't pay our bills this month, then one of us will have to work more, taking time
      away from our family, causing our marriage to suffer and...
If our basement floods with water again, then it will cost us both time and money that we
      do not have right now.  I'll be so mad at the company who just did work for us...
If my three year old does not nap today, then he will be cranky, I will be cranky, and
      bedtime will be a nightmare...

   For each situation, I had a logical line of events listed in my mind, most of which seemed too overwhelming to dwell on.  But, dwell on them I often did.  Then, I heard a seminar by Beth Moore in her Esther study which turned my "What if..." world around.

   She wrote "What IF" on a board and explained that the "I" and "F" stood for "I Fear".  WHAT I FEAR. Of course.  It made sense to me.  I filled in the blank after the word "if" with all the things I feared might happen next.  If _______, THEN _______.  Yes, she summed it up quite nicely.  Then, she explained how filling in our own blank was actually a form of not trusting God.  Ouch. 

    I trust God.  I want to trust God.  I say I trust God.  I guess I do not trust God more than I would like to admit. 

    Instead, Beth noted, we need to come to a place in life where we can put "God" in the blank.  It looked like this: "If ______, THEN GOD."  Next came the hard part - no matter what the ______ is.  She encouraged us to go ahead and follow our line of reasoning out to the worst situation we could possibly imagine.  For me, it was a toss up between something horrible happening to my husband or my children.  Guess what?  At the end of my reasoning, God was still with me.  God promised to comfort me and provide for me.  In fact, God said in Joshua 1:5, "I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."

   If _____, THEN GOD.   
   If _____, THEN GOD.
   If _____, THEN GOD.

   Go ahead, follow your fear to the end.  The same God who promised to be with me will be with you.  Do you trust him?  Do you trust he loves you completely and perfectly?  Do you trust he knows what is best for you?  Do you think he wants us to waste precious time worrying, when he will be in every situation we encounter in the future?

   "My comforter and my shield, help me to let go of my 'What IF ______' and let you into the 'THEN _____.'  I choose to trust you.  I choose to believe you will never leave me.  Amen."

In the Beginning... God

    I grew up knowing God created the Heavens and the Earth.  I've read Genesis countless times.  He formed the Earth and everything around it and on it.  He crafted by hand this wonderful and sometimes scary place where I dwell.  At the sound of his voice oceans were formed and mountains rose from the sea.  With a whisper flowers dotted the field and fawns danced freely with one another.  He laughed as clouds dotted the horizon, colors displaying his majesty as far as Adam and Eve could see.
   If I believe he was behind the beginning of all that I experience around me now, why do I doubt he is in control of my present circumstances?  Would logic not suggest he still holds all of his creation in his hands - including me?

   "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11  NIV

   In light of this, I am left with a choice.  I either trust him, believing his promise to have my best interests at heart, and do not worry about what the future holds, or, I choose to trust myself and the lies the enemy, Satan, places in my thoughts daily. 

   Seems simple enough.  Okay, I choose the first option.  But what I am discovering is that this choice is not a one time decision.  I choose to trust daily, sometimes hourly.  I am weak and frail and too often entertain the lies of the enemy.  In those moments, I return to "In the beginning...God."  He started the wheels of time and space in motion.  I had nothing to do with it.  I am, in fact, in control of very little around me.  I trust it is in good hands though.

   "Thank you, God, for holding the universe together.  I do not want that job, and am quite happy having that responsibility remain on your adequate shoulders."  Amen.