Living With "What-if?"

He was angry and he stormed out of the house. Twenty minutes later, a police officer knocked on the front door with news that this angry teenager was not ever coming home.

She sat on the edge of her bed. Her whole body was shaking as tears streamed down her face blurring the flippant text, "we're over. sorry, this isn't working for me," and she had thought there might be a diamond ring by Christmas.

It's stories like these that leave us asking "what-if". "What-if he'd never been provoked to anger?" "What-if she'd never carried her heart on her sleeve?" "What-if he hadn't?" "What-if she hadn't?" "What-if they hadn't?"

I have my own what-if. What-ifs can be a funny thing. They will be quiet for the longest time and then, at the worst moment, they are floating in front of you like a frightening ghost on an already terrifyingly dark night. What-ifs seem to show up with the express purpose of haunting the human soul until it's lost its joy.

What if we fought what-if's with our own what-if's? Why don't we ask, "what-if this was the best thing that ever happened to me?" "What-if this tragedy is my door to triumph?" "What-if this heartbreak is my chance to learn true wholeness?" What if all our doubts are smoke and mirrors that blind us from seeing the true beauty behind the pain? I'd like to say that last one a bit more strongly. All our fears and doubts ARE smoke and mirrors that blind us from seeing the true beauty and purpose behind the pain. It's not a question of "what-if this is bad" or "what-if this is good". It's a question of "do I believe God reigns". Will I be so bold as to stop asking what-if and start boldly living truth?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

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