For years, every time I heard a siren, I wondered if someone I loved had just died. “Wondered” doesn’t really cover it, either. Often, regardless of what was right in front of me—a laughing child, perhaps, or a beautiful view, or a friend who needed my attention—I dove unwittingly into an imaginary tragedy, my consciousness hijacked and sent on a wild mental goose chase. What if my husband was injured or dead? How would I ever be happy without him? Could our children cope with such a loss?
A new spot on my face distracted me for long moments as I pictured battling the same cancer that nearly took my father’s life. What if I had to face radiation, or chemo, or a surgery that left me disfigured? And as for things that go bump in the night, I couldn’t climb into bed alone without wondering if an intruder might creep into my room.
What if? What if? Those questions dropped into my mind and planted themselves there, growing into long, sad stories. They pulled me into a false world filled with heartache and trouble. Fear of the unknown and the unreal robbed me of joy in the present moment. I began to pray that God would make me fearless—and now, for the most part, I am.
God used an old book to remind me of old truths. The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life was written by a woman named Hannah who, despite a life filed with personal tragedy, convinced her readers that:
- God loves us.
- He is in charge.
- We have nothing to fear.
You and I know those truths in our heads, but do they influence every day of our lives? Even when the news, or some hard thing in our personal lives, screams out the details of a new terror? Too often, we may allow “What if?” to overpower our faith and joy. Hanna reminded me of God’s promises and taught me to see them as mine, to live convinced that He is completely in charge.
The answer to “What if?” is “Even if!”
- What if that siren is for my husband, or child, or grandchild? While that’s not likely, even if it is, somehow the Lord will carry me and my loved ones though the pain and the problems.
- What if I get cancer? I won’t like it, but God will use it.
- And if I die? I’ll head to heaven, and those I leave behind will get what they need from the Lord who loves them.
- As for my imaginary intruders, no one, no one at all, can touch me unless the Lord allows it. And even if he allows it, I can trust him.
You and I will never face anything without the surrounding love of our Lord. Even if we’re out of resources, or don’t know what to do, or think we can’t stand the pain or ever be happy again, he provides, directs, empowers and refreshes. When fearful thoughts pop into our minds, we can face them with faith. And when real tragedy strikes, we know where to turn. The secret to a happy life is this: Stay close to Christ. Let him live in you. Spend every moment of every day aware of God’s presence and his power.
And let “What if?” become “Even if!”
Image by Super Straho on unsplash.com
Wise words! I like “Even if”. There’s a couple people I want to share this with & pray the Lord speaks to their hearts through it.
Thanks for sending these words along. I’m praying along with you that the Lord uses them in their lives.
Appreciate you so much, dear friend!!!