But What If...? - Encouragement Café - July 12

But What If...?
 By Annah Matthews

And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

Fear can be paralyzing.  Sometimes we get so caught up in worry and what might happen that we cannot even enjoy the moment.  Have you ever caught yourself awake at 3:00 a.m. with thoughts of what if?  It might go something like this:

What if I never lose weight?

What if my child doesn’t make the team?

What if my husband’s company decides to downsize?

What if my parents have to be moved to a nursing home?

What if my house doesn’t sell?

What if I never get married?

What if I never have children?

What if my children rebel?

What if the diagnosis is cancer?

These what if statements are certainly real but they are also debilitating.  The path of worry is never good.  It always leads to more worry, more fear, and it can turn out to be paralyzing. 

We end up worrying about things that may never happen and we find that we are placing our security in ourselves and in our circumstances instead of in The ONE who holds us in the palm of His Hands.  We can become so cloaked in a spirit of fear that it becomes far more comfortable for us to live with worry than it does to live in peace. 

Fear does not come from the Lord.  In fact, Do NOT Fear or Do NOT Worry is quoted 366 times in Scripture. 

Furthermore, the Bible tells us “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”  2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB

We fail to remember that in an ever-changing and static world that the Lord is the One who has gone before us.  We have no need to worry or fear because He has promised to never leave or forsake us.  He is not surprised by our circumstances and he knows our thoughts and worries.

 I learned a long time ago that I could combat all the anxious and worrisome thoughts with prayer.  The formula is simple: you must be obedient to turn all your worries into prayers.  It is powerful and it turns the what if into the if then.

  • If then I am diagnosed with the unthinkable, you O Lord will hold me through this.  You will be my healer and my rock.
  • If then my husband’s company downsizes, you will be my provider and you will take care of my every need.
  • If then I never get married, you will be my maker and my husband.  You will be glorified through my life no matter what my marital status is.
  • If the circumstance arises that I don’t know how to handle, You will guide me and lead me through it because you have promised to carry the weight of my worry and make my burdens light.

Ask Him to surround you with His Peace and Presence and know that whatever you face today, He has already gone before you.

God, You know that I am worried and anxious about ___________________.  Take this situation and cover it with Your perfect peace.  Allow me to place my hope and trust in You and not in the circumstances I may or may not face.  Allow me to see that You are with me.  Do not let me become so comfortable in worry that I can’t enjoy the moments today.  Remind me that You have gone before me.  Quiet my restless soul with Your Love.  

© 2021 by Annah Matthews.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 12 July 2023.