THE WHAT IFS
(Gen 50:15) When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “WHAT IF Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” (NASB)
Ah, the what ifs of life. We all have them from time to time. We desire to take a course of action but something holds us back. What if this happens? What if that transpires? So, we pull back from going forward and stay in our comfort zone. We have safety and security issues that keep us from advancing. But after awhile we realize we have created a padded cell and we can’t break free! Is that how God wants us to live, all knotted and going nowhere? Is it possible to overcome the what ifs?
Joseph’s brothers became paranoid when their father Jacob died. They surmised that Joseph would now take the occasion to kill them for casting him into a pit and selling him to traders to Egypt. They came up with an In Case of Death letter from Jacob stating Joseph was to forgive his brothers for their wrongdoing. They needed not to fear because he had truly forgiven them. He told them so and said that God took the bad that happened and turned it into good by saving them all from the famine.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount not to worry about concerns in our lives four times in a row. (Mat 6:25-33) He said worrying was useless and that you couldn’t even become taller by this useless exercise. He then said this: (Mat 6:34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Stay in today. Wow . . . if we could really do that. But no, we project out in the future and picture all that could go wrong. We say if this happened then that would happen. And if that happened then this other thing would happen. And if that other thing would happen then it we would be ruined for good!
Here’s a classic verse about faith that we all seem to love: (Heb 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Great verse, but stop and look at the first two words . . . “Now faith”. Faith is available NOW for all we are concerned about in the future. We must learn to STAY IN THE NOW! If you project out in the future too much you will succumb to the what ifs and it will freeze you in your tracks. It will ruin your quality of life because you will be a worry wart, a fretter, and a sweater! (Psa 37:8) Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm.
Is life all about safety and security? When’s the last time you took a risk? How long has it been since you have taken a step of faith and put yourself on an adventure with God when He was beckoning you? Remember flying kites when we were kids? Do you recall letting the string out little by little until you could barely see the kite’s wagging tail? And then did you ever let it go? Wasn’t it fun trying to find it in the next neighborhood? There is such a thrill about letting yourself go when God is trying to set you higher. He has plans for us that we cannot even dream of. (1 Cor 2:9) . . . “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
But what if I run out of money? What if it all goes down with me with it? What if I lose what I have worked so hard for? Time to switch over to the WHAT IS. And the what is is that He will always care for you when life gets a little risky. You will never run dry the vast resources of God’s care and protection!