What if the sun turned orange? What if the grass was suddenly the sea? What if cotton candy grew on trees, what if money was free?
So many questions, and an imagination of endless possibilities!
In many cases, the “what if” questions can be thought-provoking and helpful. For the inventors, the engineers, pioneers of science, technology, and new products, for the artists, dreamers, writers, a world of creativity and new inspiration can result from the “what if.”
See the existence of Microsoft, animation, live-streaming television and current events. Would the iPhone exist without someone asking, “what if?” How about Disney, or Pixar – would they be where they are without someone pushing the boundaries of art and film?
So yes, the “what if” can be a wonderful question to ask in terms of creativity and invention. However, in many cases, the question of “what if” can lead to anxiety, turmoil, and procrastination.
The flip side of “what if” is where anxiety reigns wild. It is the king of its kingdom, fear is the queen, and chaos and pandemonium are its citizens. Their national product is branded uncertainty, and its shipments are made of all the filaments called “causes and effects.”
Have you ever been part of this kingdom? Found yourself captured in the falsely alluring sensation of looking at something from every angle? Caught within the chains, dangling from your hands – placed in front of Anxiety and Fear like a relentless ping-pong match of millions of possibilities?
I know I have.
It can be very easy to get lost in the “what if” of life. What if I fail this test? What if I make the wrong decision? What if I mess it up? What if…what if…what if……
Oftentimes, I turn these “what ifs” towards God. I worry on whether or not I’m taking advantage of His grace, how to know whether He really wants me to do this – is the trial and error too much to risk? I find my mind wondering towards questions like does He really still give grace when I mess up time and again? Does it really never run out?
What if what I’m doing is incorrect? What if in my attempt to figure out the right thing, I go against His will? What if I’m doing this following God life all wrong? What if…what if…what if……
Recently, when talking with a friend about this, they gave me a piece of advice that I wanted to share with all of y’all. I was telling them about how I’m always worried about messing up, and how I struggle with the concept of God’s grace and unconditional love. We talked about the entire “what if” scenario and how anxiety loves to take hold of the reins in those situations and just go crazy.
They said that when my mind wants to say, “what if” about messing up, failure, grace, God’s love, I need to refute that with “even if.”
Even if…I make a mistake.
Even if…I sin.
Even if…I willingly go against what I know to be right.
Even if…I mess up what God wanted me to do.
In whatever the circumstance, as long as we are truly saved and at the heart of it desire to follow and please the Lord, then the “WHAT IF” questions should not be allowed to have any power over us.
Because…even if the worst thing our mind’s can come up with or that we could do comes to pass, even if that happens, God’s love and grace remains.
Romans 8:38-39 says,
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Right here, God says that nothing can take His love away from us. Not our mistakes, not our failures, not our anxiety or what if questions.
Romans 11:6 states,
“But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.”
And then later in Romans, we see grace being addressed. In this short verse, Jesus is saying that His grace is not contingent on our works. It is not determined by what we do, how we do it, or anything in between. God’s grace is purely an unconditional gift that He lavishes on His children.
When anxiety and fear say “WHAT IF,” the Lord’s grace and love say even if.
~ Southern Dreamer